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County Health Department cites USJ lunchroom

The cafeteria at U.S. Jones Elementary has been given 10 days to rectify a rodent issue. Marengo County Public Health Environmentalist Daniel Wysmulek carried out a routine inspection of the cafeteria Monday and found evidence of a rodent infestation.

“We don’t mark the level that it is, we mark presence of,” Wysmulek said, declining to characterize the nature of the infestation. “Whether it be presence of insects or rodents, we mark the presence of.”

Wysmulek indicated there was no evidence of the rodents having been in food preparation areas, but it was clear they had been in the cafeteria.

“Basically fecal droppings, things like that,” Wysmulek said of what was found in the cafeteria. “Didn’t see any on actual food preparation areas. The women there do a great job of cleaning that place daily. I typically found them under equipment, behind equipment, things like that. Places where food prep is not occurring.”

“The health inspector did the regular scheduled inspection on Monday. They discovered a problem that we had. He told us the appropriate action to take before Jan. 19,” Demopolis City Schools Superintendent Dr. Al Griffin said. “Our pest control agency that we are contracting with is on top of it. They expect to be complete with their activities on Monday. Hopefully, on Monday and Tuesday, we can have a routine cleaning by an outside agency. He’s coming back on the 19th. We’re adhering to his requirements. We’ll have this corrected with approval by next Thursday the 19th.”

Per health department protocol, Wysmulek gave the school 10 days to correct the problem before the cafeteria would face consequences.

“I did give them 10 days. That number on our inspection sheet is No. 33 and it is a critical item violation, meaning it is a red letter item. Red letter items are corrected by X number of days,” Wysmulek said.

Wysmulek also indicated that he followed up with the U.S. Jones staff Tuesday and found the group to be taking the situation seriously.

“They had a plan of action already. They had contacted Lewis Pest Control and had started the preparation of fixing the issue. As long as they are making positive progress, that’s what I want done, positive steps. They have made positive steps,” Wysmulek said.

The school’s overall score was 89.