LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — In this week's second helping of Dirty Dining, 13 Chief Investigator Darcy Spears goes to school -- a middle school where failure to control cockroaches led to kitchen closure and a hefty cost.
A failing grade for pest control at William Orr middle school cost taxpayers almost $1,000 in fines and fees to the Southern Nevada Health District.
CCSD pest control was treating a rampant roach problem, but the roaches won on March 11 when the school's kitchen and student store were shut down for an imminent health hazard.
Health inspectors were alerted when someone filed a complaint saying "I observed roaches crawling on the cafeteria floor where the students were eating their lunches. The roaches were crawling from underneath the food cooler."
That person also saw dead roaches in the light panel and said "This has been an ongoing problem with roaches and rats for several months on this campus. Teachers have installed rat traps in their classrooms and the roach issue has extended into the restrooms."
Inspectors following up on that complaint documented a systemic, multi-generational German cockroach infestation throughout the school, including the kitchen where glue traps were filled with bugs.
Roaches were crawling on the walls above boxes of apples and below where staff serves students their food. There was a dead roach on the sink where staff was actively washing dishes.
Health inspectors found the school to be non-compliant after finding roaches had also infested storage rooms, restrooms and the multi-purpose room near lockers. Roach feces, known as frass, were all over the place too.
In the student store -- scattered trash and food debris contributed to unsanitary conditions.
During the closure, William Orr was not allowed to serve any open food -- just a limited menu of prepared and prepackaged foods from the CCSD commissary. That lasted for a week until it was reinspected on March 18 and got a zero-demerit A grade.
But even during reinspection, there were still live and dead roaches, roach feces and food left on floors. The inspector wrote that pest control at the school "may continue to be a challenge."
CCSD staff will do a deep cleaning and further treatments during Spring break.
The principal at William Orr wouldn't take Darcy Spears' phone call. He referred her to the district's central communications office and no one there would go on camera.
They sent a statement saying staff worked quickly to remedy the matter and the school has an ongoing pest management program. They also said they'd notified parents via ParentLink after the Health District closure.