An overnight shutdown of the Atlantic City High School cafeteria at the end of February due to an unsatisfactory health inspection didn’t interrupt the lunch schedule the next day.
Superintendent Donna Haye said Thursday that the incident was not as big a deal as it is being made out to be weeks after it occurred. The story involving the discovery of mouse droppings was first reported Wednesday night by NBC10 Philadelphia. Calls from The Press of Atlantic City were not returned at the time of the incident.
“It was very minimal, and we had been on watch for this since Hurricane Sandy,” she said. “You have to remember the high school is set on a marsh, and with the hurricane and two recent nor'easters, we have been on watch because you have to deal with field mice.”
Although the school did not suffer flooding, the disturbance of the eco system in the area can create an issue with mice being displaced.
The cafeteria was shut down Feb. 28. Traps put down that night caught several mice and the morning after the incident the school called for an inspection and received the all-clear. Because the problem was resolved before lunch, no alerts were sent to parents, Haye said.
She added that water damage caused to ceiling tiles by recent rains was a part of the unsatisfactory report, "so it wasn't just the droppings."
Haye said the school has been in touch with health inspectors on a regular basis and uses a pest-control program each night to avoid a recurrence.
“You have to be careful because it is a school” environment where children are involved, she said.
Contact Anjalee Khemlani:
Follow Anjalee Khemlani on Twitter @AnjKhem