School’s mouse infestation forces closure of the kitchen for more than a week – Gazette Live


Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on November 17th, 2019

A school's kitchen has been shut down for over a week following an infestation of mice.

Northfield School and Sports College in Billingham first reported the problem to parents on Tuesday, November 5.

Over a week later and pupils are still not receiving hot meals.

Stockton Council said they were working with the school to reopen the kitchen "as soon as possible".

A message has been sent out to parents from headteacher Richard Henderson who apologised for the "inconvenience".

He said the kitchen was closed as "a precautionary measure" on the advice of Environmental Health officers.

Cold food, prepared off site and brought into school, could be provided, he said.

Alternatively, pupils could take in their own packed lunch.

"I am sure you will appreciate we would always take a precautionary approach in situations like this," he added.

Potential problems linked with a rodent infestation include food poisoning, tick-borne diseases and other health issues.

Mice can also carry fleas and mites and cause extensive damage to wires, insulations and furniture.

The father of a pupil at the school, who wanted to remain anonymous, said the issue was a health concern.

"Parents have been advised to send children with packed lunches which means they aren't getting a hot meal which should be provided," he said.

"It's the middle of winter and the kids should be getting hot meals, not cold packed lunches.

"And now the mice are entering the classroom areas causing huge health concerns around furnishings.

"It's a massive infection control risk."

According to the British Pest Control Association, field mice tend to move indoors in the winter and will eat almost any stored food.

"It is important to get rid of field mice quickly, as they are adaptable, highly mobile and breed rapidly," said advice on the website.

Teesside Live contacted Stockton Council regarding the issue.

A spokesperson said: "The council is working with Northfield School to bring the kitchen cooking facilities back into use.

"The work is under way and the kitchen will reopen as soon as possible.

"While this is being carried out, arrangements have been put in place to ensure that the pupils continue to receive a catering service."

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School's mouse infestation forces closure of the kitchen for more than a week - Gazette Live

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