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Cockroach infestation shuts down cafeteria at St. John’s hospital in Santa Monica

St. John’s cafeteria closed

The cafeteria at Saint John’s Health Center on Santa Monica Boulevard was closed this week after cockroaches were found inside the kitchen, health officials said.

(Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times)

The cafeteria at St. John’s Health Center – the fabled Santa Monica hospital – was shut down this week after a health inspector found a cockroach infestation in the kitchen, county health officials said.

At least 10 live cockroaches were found in the kitchen for the cafeteria, which is located on the second floor of the hospital in the 2100 block of Santa Monica Boulevard, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

Officials at the Westside hospital expect to reopen the cafeteria Saturday, and in the meantime, patients’ visitors are being provided with a list of local restaurants, said Patricia Aidem, a hospital spokeswoman.

The cafeteria closure has not disrupted in-patient meals, which are prepared in another section of the hospital.

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In a statement, the hospital chain Providence Health & Services, which bought St. John’s in 2014, blamed the “prolonged hot weather” for enticing bugs inside to seek food and water.

“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 chain said in a statement.

Founded by Roman Catholic nuns in 1942, St. John’s hospital has cared for celebrity patients such as Elizabeth Taylor, Michael Jackson and President Ronald Reagan.

For breaking news in California, follow @MattHjourno

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