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Watch: Rodent spotted in Marciano Commons dining area, students concerned over hall’s hygiene

Rodent spotted in Marciano Commons dining area, students concerned over hall’s hygien
A mouse in Marciano Commons. The mouse spotted in the Bay State dining hall on Jan. 17 has led students to question the hygiene standards and overall cleanliness of the place where many enjoy their meals. COURTESY OF MADHRI YEHIYA

Several students spotted a mouse in Marciano Commons dining area Jan. 17, leading to concerns over the standards of hygiene and general cleanliness in the dining hall.

Reid Chave, a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences, said he saw a mouse eating crumbs next to a table in the dining hall as he ate with his girlfriend, adding it disappeared a few moments later.

“I think it went… into one of the heater things. It was probably just trying to stay warm,” he said. “Not really sure where it got off to but it seemed like it was mostly foraging for things dropped by the diners in the hall as opposed to going around the kitchen area.”

Video footage, taken on Jan. 17,  shows the mouse nibbling in a corner before scurrying away.

Paul Riel, associate vice president for Boston University Auxiliary Services, wrote in an email the mouse was taken care of as soon as it was spotted.

“A staff member had reported seeing a mouse directly to the Pest Control company who immediately responded and captured the mouse,” Riel said. “Additional measures were taken to identify any open areas where the mouse may have entered the building.”

Food establishments should be kept free of insects, rodents or other pests, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Food Code. Their presence should be controlled through routine inspections of food shipments and the premises, implementing means of pest control if they are found and eliminating “harborage conditions.” 

Riel wrote “pest control is a priority” and that Auxiliary Services — which oversees BU’s student housing, dining and retail operations —  keep “the highest level of vigilance” in the food storage, prep and serving areas.

“We work with a pest control provider for regular inspections to prevent issues from happening in the first place,” Riel wrote. “Because we take pest management seriously, any sighting or report is given the utmost attention by our team.”

However, students and regulars at Marciano expressed concern over hygiene levels at the dining hall after hearing and seeing a video of the rodent.

“When you see a mouse in some area, it’s usually a crowd or a herd of mice, so I’m getting a bit worried about the hygiene level of Marciano,” said CAS freshman Chanjin Yoon. 

Boston ranks second in most rodent infestations in the United States, according to data from the 2019 U.S. Census Bureau compiled by Apartment Guide.

Thomas Ross, a freshman in Questrom School of Business, said he felt uneasy knowing there was a mouse in the dining hall.

“It’s kind of unsanitary and gross,” he said. “I don’t really know the cleanliness of the kitchen… but if there’s a mouse in the dining area, one can only assume that there are others, or that mouse would move into the kitchen.”

Regarding all the circumstances, some students have called for the University to notify such incidents to students and work to assure that the dining halls are a safe and clean environment.

“If this happens multiple times, then I hope they get in a third party to fix this problem,” Yoon said. “I hope it’s a one-time thing but they should release an announcement or show them that we care about this problem and we handle this seriously.”

Campus news editor Jesús Marrero Suárez contributed to the reporting of this article.


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