Clark County Jail kitchen shuts down due to cockroaches

The Clark County Jail shut down its kitchen this month after the discovery of cockroaches in the first level of the building, and the Clark County Sheriff’s Office is using other spaces to store food and distribute meals to incarcerated people.

The Clark County Combined Health District inspected the jail after a complaint of possible cockroaches in the jail’s kitchen on Aug. 4, where inspectors saw “a live cockroach under the dishwasher area” on the wall, according to the inspection report.

The health district inspected the jail again on Sept. 15, when inspectors observed “a large presence of live and dead cockroaches in the kitchen, walk-in cooler and other parts of the jail,” according to the report.

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The pests have been found on the building’s first level, which houses the jail’s kitchen and other administrative offices, and are not in spaces that house inmates, Clark County Sheriff’ Deb Burchett said.

“It’s been a fighting battle,” said Burchett. “And we don’t know how soon we’re going to win, but no one’s family should be in fear.”

The Sept. 15 inspection report said the jail’s staff is “actively working” to resolve the issue.

The facility has been deep cleaned by a cleaning service and sprayed “numerous times” by pest control services, Burchett said.

Food products and kitchen items have been moved to locations out of the building. A portable cooler has been used for the storage of emergency meals that are prepared at an off-site kitchen service and brought in daily.

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Clark County Combined Health District Health Commissioner Charles Patterson said that health district staff will re-inspect the facility early next week to see how this week’s pest treatment went.

The health district approved the multi-step treatment plan to eliminate pests from the jail, Patterson said.

Patterson said that cockroaches are “unlikely” to pass or cause diseases to people who take up space near them, but they should be eliminated to “ensure purity in food.”

Cockroaches are considered allergen sources and may serve as asthma triggers for people taking up space near them, in addition to creating a pungent odor and causing psychology or emotional distress, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

The jail passed its standard inspection on March 16 with no critical issues, according to health district records.

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