Apparently students aren’t the only ones chowing down at South Quad.
Ciao Down Pizzeria, the café located in South Quadrangle Residence Hall, was temporarily closed starting on Dec. 15 due to a cockroach infestation, University Housing spokesman Peter Logan confirmed in an interview Friday.
Logan said University Housing and the University’s Department of Occupational Safety and Environmental Health agreed to close the café upon making the discovery, in order to begin aggressive treatments while students were gone for break to take advantage of “low student activity.”
“There was some roach activity we felt we needed to address immediately,” Logan said.
Since the roaches infested a food preparation area, Logan said exterminators took extra precautions during extermination.
“The treatments we use are all food safe in food areas,” Logan said.
Logan said that while Ciao Down has reopened, the University will continue to take necessary steps to alleviate the situation if needed, adding that ultimately the café could close again if it continues to be an issue.
“We’re confident right now we have it under control,” Logan said.
Shortly after the closure, a YouTube video surfaced showing signs of the cockroach infestation in the eatery. In the video, the narrators claim they aren’t going out of their way to look for cockroaches, yet stumble upon more than five of the pests in the first few minutes of filming.
The description of the video, posted on Dec. 17 by a student-employee who wishes to remain anonymous, alleges that the video was taken the day after extermination, though cockroaches are present in the film.
In an interview last night, the student-employee said many plant facility managers and other employees who he often talks to say the infestation in South Quad is an ongoing issue.
“The employees that have been here for years say there’s always been a huge cockroach problem,” the student said.
However, in an interview last night, Logan said he is unaware of cockroaches being a problem prior to last month, adding that University Housing always responds quickly to pest issues when they’re brought to its attention.
“I don’t know how much of an issue they were before the middle of December,” Logan said. “We routinely do preventive treatment for pest in the facilities and when there’s some indication there’s increased activity we’ll do more aggressive treatment.
The student who posted the video said he doesn’t think University Housing will completely rid South Quad of the cockroaches completely because they haven’t done so thus far.
“I don’t eat the food there anymore so it’s up to whoever sees the video to make their own decisions,” he said.
Engineering sophomore Mike Brajer works at the South Quad Community Center and said he purchases food at Ciao Down about once a week.
Brajer said while he didn’t know why Ciao Down had closed, he was not shocked upon hearing about the infestation.
“I would always notice that they keep the bread out … I was kind of worried a little bit about cleanliness,” Brajer said. “It doesn’t completely surprise me.”
Brajer said he thinks the University should have notified residents in South Quad about the cockroach problem.
“We have the right to know, ultimately we’re the ones paying to keep them running,” Brajer said.
“They should let us know what measures they took to fix it, too,” he added.
LSA senior Dia Bright-Johnson, an employee at Ciao Down, said she was not told the reason why it had closed.
“I’m not surprised they didn’t tell anybody because they obviously would decrease business and whatnot,” Bright-Johnson said.
Bright-Johnson said knowing that cockroaches caused the closing is unsettling. However, she added the University wouldn’t have reopened Ciao Down if it were unsafe to eat there.
“I would still eat here, things happen,” Bright-Johnson said.
Correction Appended: A previous version of this version of this article incorrectly insinuated that the cafe could close permanently.