NYC School Cafeterias Cited for Vermin, Liquid Waste

Vermin, mice, roaches and liquid waste are among some of the most troubling violations found inside New York City's public school cafeterias, NBC 4 New York has found in an analysis of more than 2,000 inspections citywide. 

NBC 4 New York obtained the 2012 school cafeteria inspections -- the latest numbers on record -- after filing a Freedom of Information request. 

Click to View: NYC Public School Cafeteria Inspection Records 2012

PS 93 in Bensonhurst tops the problem list, with 17 citations on four different days from spring to another inspection in October, when signs of mice were still found in the food area. The last inspection noted the facility was "not vermin-proof." 

Parent Simone Neblett was disturbed to hear of the findings. 

"I did not know that," she said. "My baby eats here every day." 

The Department of Education says vermin are no longer an issue, but the school cafeteria still has problems with liquid drainage that should be fixed in three to six weeks. 

In Queens, parents praised the quality of PS 104 in Far Rockaway and were surprised to hear it had the second-most cited cafeteria, including liquid waste and mice in the food area. 

"That is embarrassing," one mother said. 

The city says mice are no longer a problem at PS 104's cafeteria. 

Most schools in the system had few violations, and the majority were minor. The worst that inspectors found at PS 188 in Flushing were a lack of nutritional fact and ingredient labels. PS 182 in the Bronx was inspected over two days, and the only problem found there was inadequate lighting. 

While mice were detected at JHS 13 in Harlem, there were no signs of the critters when the cafeteria was inspected again three months later.

But any report of unwanted cafeteria guests can mean a change in a child's lunch routine. 

"I'm really shocked," said Neblett. "Maybe I should start to send her with lunch from home." 

Contact Us