NORTH ANDOVER (CBS) — A cockroach infestation made for an unappetizing situation at Merrimack College.

The school confirmed Wednesday that cockroaches forced the closure of a cafeteria this week. The local health department started investigating after getting a complaint.

Health inspectors found “unsanitary conditions and pest infestation” that were “primarily cockroaches,” North Andover Board of Health Chairman Thomas Trowbridge told The Eagle-Tribune.

The cafeteria is being cleaned and will remain closed through Saturday, the school said.

“Our food service vendor, Sodexo, informed us of a concern about cockroaches in the student dining facility on Tuesday,” Merrimack College said in a statement. “Town officials, the college and Sodexo held an immediate meeting, and the college ordered a thorough professional cleaning, made alternate plans to feed students, and informed students that day by email.”

An email sent to students, faculty and staff identified a “potential pest issue,” but did not mention cockroaches specifically.

“Student safety and well-being remain the college’s paramount concern, and we assure the campus community there is and was no safety issue resulting from this,” the email said.

The infestation also shut down an adjacent kitchen and bakery in the basement of the building, according to the newspaper.

The college was being cooperative and exterminators deployed a gel to kill the cockroaches, Trowbridge said.

A Merrimack College spokesman also confirmed a report that cafeteria workers had to prepare food outside on grills because an alternative indoor space to cook was not provided.

 

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