A veterans hospital in Miami, Florida, was so filthy it required a deep clean and fumigation after the area failed an October safety and sanitation inspection.
The inspection report, obtained by the Miami Herald, found evidence of “grimy drawers and storage racks,” “unrefrigerated foods” and even “insects and rodent droppings.”
The report provided the cafeteria with a number of scores on their following of health and safety regulations, with the establishment scoring zero points on a number of key issues such as the sanitation of storage equipment, keeping walls, floors, and cooking equipment clean, as well as ensuring the employees were not at risk of falling over due to slippery floors.
“There are now no reported issues involving the canteen kitchen,” said hospital spokesperson Shane Suzuki on Thursday. “Out of an abundance of caution … we conducted a thorough extermination, deep clean and re-inspection of the entire canteen.”
Suzuki added that the food of hospital patients were not affected by the unsanitary conditions because their meals are prepared separately from the public cafeteria, known as the Patriot Café.
“We have a completely separate food preparation area for inpatient food service,” he said.
The report’s whistleblower, Scott Davis, who previously testified before Congress over the sub-standard treatment that veterans are receiving, told the Herald that “roaches and food is a consistent thing throughout the VA,” and cited another example of cockroaches being a “persistent presence” at a veterans hospital in Illinois.
According to a report from the Office of the Inspector General on the Illinois facility, authorities were aware that patients were receiving meals containing cockroaches but did not attempt to solve the problem.
In recent years, VA hospitals have been plagued by numerous cases of appalling treatment, which include patients being infected with diseases such as Hepatitis and HIV due to lack of infection control, dead bodies being left unattended for multiple hours, and hundreds of veterans dying on long waiting lists for the necessary care they had requested.
During his presidential campaign, President Donald Trump pledged to fix the wait times and overall problems surrounding the Veterans Affairs and drew up a ten-point plan to reform the department as a whole. In his first White House budget, Trump signed a ten percent increase in spending for the department.
“Veterans should come first in the country they fought to protect, and under a Trump administration, they will,” he said at the time.