Cockroaches force closure of Merrimack College dining hall

Posted on January 21, 2015 by



A cockroach infestation forced Merrimack College located in North Andover, Massachusetts to close its main dining hall Tuesday, college officials said.

The North Andover [MA] Health Department inspected the dining hall, called Sparky’s Place, after receiving an anonymous complaint, said Thomas Trowbridge, chairman of the town’s health board.

The inspectors closed Sparky’s, which is located on the second floor of a college building, after finding unsanitary conditions and a pest infestation. A kitchen located in the building’s basement was also closed, Trowbridge said.

Within two hours of the closings, town and college officials as well as food service company representatives met, and the college ordered a thorough professional cleaning, Trowbridge said.

The Warrior’s Den bar and grill, located on the first floor of the building, was found to be in acceptable condition, and remains open, Trowbridge said.

Students were informed Tuesday of the closings by e-mail, and given a list of alternate places to eat, said James Chiavelli, spokesman for the college.

The health department gave the college a list of providers that were licensed to cook offsite and deliver food to campus, Trowbridge said.

The college said Tuesday that it expected to reopen the dining facility in 24 to 48 hours.

“Student health and safety remain the college’s top priority, and the main dining facility will not reopen until we and town officials are satisfied,” the college said in a statement.

Cleaning was underway Wednesday morning and officials from the health department were there to provide advice. Trowbridge said he wasn’t sure when the dining hall would reopen.

Merrimack received clean bills of health in its twice-yearly inspections through last fall, Chiavelli said.

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Posted in: Family safety