This town is crawling with mice and rats and terrifying mutant cockroaches, so it's funny WABC "Eyewitness News" is so shocked to find the city school system has a bit of a rodent problem. The fact that school lunch is unappetizing isn't exactly flashing-siren news, but this is revolting nonetheless: Records obtained through Freedom of Information show that 545 school cafeterias had one or more critical health violations, and about one-third of those violations were for mice and mice droppings. Perhaps student Jose Rodriguez said it best: "Nasty. It's disgusting, but it's really not surprising."
Landmark High School in Manhattan was one of the worst. According to records, last year health inspectors found 15 critical violations for mice activity, mouse crap "everywhere" and even "a live mouse found in a glue trap." Talking head Sarah Kline of the Center for Science and Public Interest says, "What's really disturbing when you think about mice droppings in food areas is that not only can those things be getting into the food, which is both disgusting and dangerous, but also it just goes to illustrate that somebody is not paying attention to food safety at large."
As if to prove the point, last month an adorable little roach scampered toward TV's Rachael Ray as she visited a school to promote her special lunch menu. The spokesperson for the Department of Education refused to give WABC an on-camera interview about the mice, presumably because this official statement is physically impossible to utter without laughing: "School cafeterias are clean and safe. Health inspection reports show that the food sanitation practices exceed that of many restaurants and kitchens."