A&W at St. Laurent mall remains closed temporarily due to cockroaches

An A&W restaurant at the St. Laurent Shopping Centre has been cleared by officials at Ottawa Public Health after "some dead and alive cockroaches" were found this week, but remains closed voluntarily, according to a restaurant spokeswoman.

A&W passed inspection but waits for pest control expert before reopening, spokeswoman says

The A&W inside St. Laurent Shopping Centre in Ottawa was closed temporarily after cockroaches were found by Ottawa Public Health officials. (CBC)

The A&W restaurant at the St. Laurent Shopping Centre in Ottawa remains closed after cockroaches were found this week even though public health officials have cleared the restaurant of insect issues, according to a restaurant spokeswoman.

Public health investigators visited the mall on Monday after residents complained of cockroaches, according to the health agency.

The mall's property manager had said an approved pesticide was sprayed a day earlier in the food court to address a cockroach problem.

"During the inspections, some dead and live cockroaches were observed in the washrooms in the food court area and at the A&W [restaurant]," Ottawa Public Health said in a statement.

The cockroaches and "general sanitation that required cleaning" were cited as reasons to temporarily close the A&W.

The restaurant failed two follow-up inspections on Tuesday and again on Wednesday due to "continued food safety issues."

Cleared to reopen, A&W says

Another follow-up inspection on Thursday cleared the restaurant for re-opening, according to Brenda Jones from Hoggan & Associates.

Jones said the A&W will wait for a pest control expert to "verify that the broader problem has been fully addressed, due to the open nature of the food court area."

A sign posted on the counter of A&W inside St. Laurent Shopping Centre indicated the store would only closed for two days after both "dead and alive" cockroaches were found. (CBC)
"The food court at the St. Laurent Shopping Centre has recently been experiencing an issue with insects. We and mall management understand that this is obviously unacceptable for our guests and it's equally unacceptable to us," according to a statement.

"The comfort and safety of our guests is critical to us. We have an extremely vigilant and thorough food safety program that exceeds regulatory requirements and our guests' expectations. We won't compromise our standards."

According to public health inspection records the restaurant passed its inspections in 2013 and 2014. Then, in April this year, the agency found evidence of improper use and storage of cleaning utensils, which it deemed "non-critical."

The "evidence of significant insect/rodent infestation" found Monday was deemed "critical," leading the agency to close the restaurant, according to the records.


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