FOX Chicago investigates: Dirty school lunchrooms, Part 2 - FOX 32 News Chicago

FOX Chicago investigates: Dirty school lunchrooms, Part 2

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

The new head of cafeterias at Chicago Public Schools says the district is cleaning up its act, after FOX Chicago found eight different CPS schools failed health inspections because of rodent issues in October.

SEE: FOX Chicago investigates: Dirty school lunchrooms, Part 1

The district allowed our cameras inside Hirsch Metro High School, just weeks after a student there got sick after eating mouse droppings in nachos. After the incident, inspectors found hundreds of droppings throughout the school on an initial inspection, and it took three more inspections before the school finally passed, and the cafeteria was back open.

"Hirsch is clean today," said Leslie Fowler, CPS's new head of Nutritional Support Services.

Fowler promised us CPS's cafeteria policies have changed, and affected schools were being cleaned up.

We spent an hour scouring Hirsch from top to bottom. Armed with a camera, a flashlight, and three separate failing reports to guide us, we checked the dining room, in the kitchen, along ledges, and inside vents--all spots where dozens of droppings were found by inspectors. All of those spots were clean during our visit.

In fact, most areas were now spotless, with the exception of an Oreo cookie that made it past janitors.

The key spot was the basement. That's where food used to be stored, and a health inspector found absolutely terrible conditions. Their report showed more than 200 mouse droppings scattered throughout the basement underneath the cafeteria. We didn't see did see that at all, but we did see dozens of mouse traps.

We also saw what appeared to be fresh patches to seal holes inside and outside of the building.

So it appears Hirsch Metro High School is clean now, and CPS says it will be more aggressive in dealing with rodents from here on out. That includes shutting down their own dirty kitchens without getting citations first.

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