Cockroach Infestation Forces Closure of Santa Monica Hospital Cafeteria

AP / Kimitsu Yogachi

A cafeteria at St. John’s Medical Center in Santa Monica was forced closed by a health inspector this week when nearly a dozen live cockroaches were found in the kitchen.

An inspector from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health found at least ten cockroaches in the kitchen of the second-floor cafeteria, generally used by hospital staff, doctors, and visitors, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The hospital is a staple of the community, having previously treated such notable patients as former President Ronald Reagan, actor Richard Burton, former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and many others.

Providence Health & Services, which took over the hospital in 2014, said in a statement that “prolonged hot weather” had drawn the bugs into the kitchen.

“Providence Saint John’s apologizes for the inconvenience to our visitors, physicians and staff and, while it’s difficult to control these natural occurrences, pledges continued diligence in ensuring cleanliness and safety,” the hospital’s owners said.

The Times reported that patients’ meals were not affected by the closure, as they are prepared in a different section of the hospital.

The cafeteria is expected to reopen on Saturday.