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Students possibly sickened by mouse droppings in school lunch

Students head home from Hirsch Metro High School Friday. Mouse droppings were found bags nachos two students who felt ill

Students head home from Hirsch Metro High School on Friday. Mouse droppings were found in bags of nachos, and two students who felt ill were taken to a hospital as a precaution. | Scott Stewart~Sun-Times

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Updated: November 14, 2012 3:03PM

An unspecified number of students at a South Side high school may have eaten nachos contaminated by mouse droppings in the school cafeteria this week. Two became ill and were taken to a hospital, officials said Friday.

Inspectors from the Chicago Department of Public Health were at Hirsch Metro High School in Greater Grand Crossing on Friday, according to city spokeswoman Caroline Weisser.

The cafeteria has been closed since Wednesday, when students eating the bagged nachos found mouse droppings at the bottom.

“It was at the end of the lunch period. Some students eating the nachos got to the bottom and saw the droppings. Staff immediately closed the kitchen, and emptied everything out,” Chicago Public Schools spokeswoman Marielle Sain­vilus said.

It was determined mice had eaten into a box of nachos.

The two students who felt ill were taken to a hospital as a precaution, officials said.

Students were served cold lunches, prepared outside of the school, Thursday and Friday.

Hirsch Principal Afina Shakur Lockhart sent a letter home that warned parents to watch their children for potential illness.

Pest control was scheduled to come into the school after students were released Friday.

“They’ll fumigate the entire school,” Sainvilus said. “Throughout the weekend, we will be at the school to ensure the problem has been fully eradicated and that the kitchen will be back in operation before the start of school on Monday.”

All CPS cafeterias/food facilities are inspected at least twice a year, according to Sainvilus.

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