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'Extremely disgusting': Rat spotted near food in UBC cafeteria


UBC students in line for dinner at one of the school’s cafeterias were greeted by an unwelcome guest this week.

Video circulating online shows a dark-coloured rat on top of the grill station at Open Kitchen, a cafeteria in the Orchard Commons residence on UBC’s Vancouver campus.

First-year student Isabel Curiston was in line for dinner around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday when she saw the rodent standing next to the food.

“I look up and I see this rat coming out of the cracks where they keep fruits and vegetables, and just standing there,” she said.

The rat caught the attention of many students in the cafeteria. Curiston pulled out her phone and recorded the encounter, which ended when a kitchen worker grabbed the rat with a pair of tongs. The critter fell to the floor, and the worker carried on with his duties.

Dinner service continued, but UBC told CTV News the grill station was immediately closed down and sanitized, and all the food was thrown out.

“(We) are working actively with our pest control partner to address the situation," said Colin Moore, director of UBC Food Services, in a statement to CTV News. "All employees have been informed and reminded about proper sanitation measures as necessary,”

UBC also confirmed Vancouver Coastal Health has since inspected the cafeteria, finding no evidence of rodent infestation and saying it’s content with the school’s sanitation and pest control measures.

Students living in several residences at UBC pay for a meal plan, which gives them credit to buy meals at school cafeterias and restaurants. Curiston wants UBC to consider giving students some form of a reimbursement or meal voucher, saying despite health inspectors signing off on the cafeteria’s cleanliness, the image of a rat in the kitchen will keep her from dining there for some time.

“I refuse to go back until I know for a fact they’ve dealt with the rat problem,” she said. “If they set out traps, I’d feel more safe eating there.”​ Top Stories

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