What should food service employees do if they see a mouse?

Tell someone. Call someone. Kill it.

Ignore it?


Pennsylvania lawmakers wanted to know the answer, and are prepared to legislate one if necessary after their cafeteria was shut down due to rodent problems.

As reported by the Patriot-News,

It might have been the most relevant question at Monday’s inquiry into the mouse infestation and other health problems that temporarily closed the state Capitol cafeteria:

Why didn’t cafeteria employees do something?

There was no direct answer.

The closest came from Bruce Walton, vice president for operations for Aramark, Inc., which runs the cafeteria.

He said "leadership changes" have been made, and Aramark is trying to create an "environment of care" in which Capitol cafeteria employees take a proactive approach to quality matters.

Yet the answer to that question — whatever it is — might prove central to the decision of whether Pennsylvania gets a tougher restaurant law.


More rats: rodents close Pennsylvania state capital cafeteria

The cafeteria in the Pennsylvania capital building where the governor and other state legislators hang out, form cliques and toss around tater tots, has not been inspected in four years – despite a state law requiring annual checks — and is now closed after an infestation of rodents was discovered.

Pennsylvania Auditor General Jack Wagner said Thursday he received assurances in 2005 that the state Agriculture Department would inspect the facility, and his auditors later received false assurances that it was being inspected regularly.

Last week, Agriculture Department inspectors finally arrived at the ground-floor cafeteria, a popular coffee and lunch spot. They found a "severe" rodent infestation, including an "excessive" amount of rodent droppings on food preparation equipment and in cabinets, utensil bins and elsewhere. The droppings indicate the presence of live mice and are considered an imminent health risk.

The ground-floor cafeteria is now closed and is not expected to reopen until January.