DENVER -- Denver Health Department inspectors ordered the kitchen at East High School to close due to a rodent infestation.
A re-inspection Monday allowed the kitchen to reopen.
"The employees of East High School have thoroughly cleaned and sanitized the whole kitchen facility. The kitchen has been re-opened. Food handling may resume," an inspector's report stated.
However, inspectors will be back every day to monitor the situation because according to the health department, the entire school has an infestation problem.
Here are the comments on an inspection report from Thursday:
"East High School is here by ordered to clean all evidence of pests and rodents throughout the entire school. This includes all buildings, floors and rooms that make up East High School. East High School will also be required to implement a pest prevention plan in order to continue the removal of pests and rodents, along with implementing a cleaning plan that will prevent any evidence of pests and rodents. Continued monitoring for evidence of pests and rodents will be required under this order. Failure to comply with this order will result in further enforcement action."
Principal Andy Mendelsberg sent a letter home to families on Tuesday:
Dear East High School families,
I would like to make you aware of a pest issue that was identified last week in our school building. During a kitchen inspection, Department of Environmental Health (PHI) inspectors identified a rodent infestation in our school’s kitchen and in other areas of the building. Upon learning of the infestation, DPS Facilities and DPS Food and Nutrition Services immediately addressed the issue and worked to clean and treat the building. Our school kitchen was closed Thursday and Friday, and food was brought in. This morning, inspectors determined that the kitchen area has been successfully cleaned and no longer has a rodent infestation.
Other areas of our school, however, need additional treatment, which took place over the weekend and is continuing this week.
While the rest of the building is being treated, please:
- Use good hand washing at all times
- Wash hands after touching any environmental surfaces such as: desk tops, lockers, tables, supplies, stairway railings, equipment etc.
- Wash hands before eating
- Wash hands before touching your face
- Wash hands before and after using the restroom
- Do not leave exposed food around classrooms or lockers
- Do not leave trash in open spaces or containers as it provides a food source and harborage for rodents
- Clean all supplies and book bags, gym bags with a disinfectant such as Clorox Wipes
As the building is being treated, DPS facilities and staff will regularly sanitize and wipe down common areas such as desks and chairs. Again, the kitchen area is cleared of any rodents, and DPS facilities is working to clear the rest of the building.
While not entirely uncommon in aged buildings, this is a serious issue and one that our school and Denver Public Schools is working to quickly address. Please be assured that all necessary steps to address the issue are being taken.
Thank you, and as always, please let me know if you have any questions.
See the health department's reports and orders below:
- December 4 inspection report
- December 4 order to sanitize school
- December 8 inspection report
- Check inspection reports for your school
Parents who have questions about the cafeteria can email