Lazy Owl faces multiple inspections by health authority

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A Poulin’s Pest Control device and sticky trap sit underneath a sink.
A sticky situation.  Allister White

Repeated cleanliness and pest violations 

by contributor, allister white

The Lazy Owl, a campus dining establishment frequently used by clubs to host events, has been the subject of two consecutive follow-up health inspections – largely because of issues with sanitation and pest control. This has raised concerns for students and patrons alike.  

On August 1, 2023, the Lazy Owl underwent a routine health inspection conducted by Waheed Mehmood. The inspection listed re-inspection priority as “moderate,” and two follow-up inspections have occurred since: one on September 13 wherein Mehmood found five violations, and another in October, where three violations were found. 

Most notably, the first follow-up inspection found multiple dead cockroaches underneath food-prep areas in the kitchen. A second consecutive inspection in October also found a dead cockroach, an additional violation and health and safety concern for patrons.   

Jai Desai, acting kitchen and bar manager says that “the roaches didn’t come [from nowhere] … they came from outside [The Owl].” Jai blames the Lazy Owl’s repeat pest control violations on the university’s private contractor, who Desai says did not inform him or Farooq Ayyub of the infestation. Desai could not provide any further details. In August, Jai Desai acted only as the bar manager. Ayyub, the kitchen manager at the time, is currently on leave from his position while he recovers from an injury. Ayyub was not available for comment.  

Everett Dorma, a Public Affairs Strategist with the University of Regina, explained to the Carillon that “evidence of pests was located at the Owl in early September as a result of an inspection conducted by the University of Regina’s (U of R) private contractor and the operator [at the Lazy Owl] was notified.” 

Dorma explained that the bulk of investigations falls on both Saskatchewan Public Health and The Owl’s management, however, the U of R does employ a private contractor to “conduct regular inspections and undertake pest control.” It was not made clear whether this contractor is Poulin’s Pest Control, the company named both on traps in the kitchen and inspection reports. At the time of writing this, Poulin’s Pest Control have not responded to requests for comment.  

A new license was issued and mailed out to the Lazy Owl after Mehmood’s August report despite the two violations, and Mehmood conducted a follow-up inspection on September 13, eight days after the U of R’s private contractor conducted their pest inspection.  

Mehmood’s initial inspection cited concerns with sanitization – namely with the dishwasher and glasswasher. According to the Saskatchewan Health Authority’s (SHA) Public Eating Establishment Standards, dishes, glassware, and utensils should be sanitized in a chlorine solution of not less than 100 parts per million (ppm). At the time of Mehmood’s initial inspection in August, the chlorine sanitizer for the dishwasher was empty, and the glasswasher had no sanitizer measured. Mehmood’s recommendation was that the Lazy Owl “manually sanitize utensils [and] glasses.” Desai said that the sanitizer read at 0ppm repeatedly because it was not ordered yet.  

The second violation in Mehmood’s August report had to do with general cleaning and maintenance. Mehmood commented that the kitchen required a “thorough cleaning” and that the storage room needed to be organized before the restaurant opened.  

The September inspection, which took place around six weeks after Mehmood’s initial inspection found, for a second time, that chlorine sanitizer levels were at 0ppm, meaning that no sanitizer was being used during the final cycle of the dishwashing process. It also found that the paper towel dispenser at the sink where staff wash their hands was empty, and that staff were not following appropriate handwashing protocol. This was corrected by the October inspection. 

September’s follow-up also made re-inspection a high priority for the Lazy Owl which led to the second follow-up on October 26. Three violations were observed at this time: two pertaining to cleaning, and a repeat pest control violation. This time, one dead cockroach was spotted in the kitchen.  

At the time, the Lazy Owl’s kitchen manager, Farooq Ayyub explained that the facility was on its third of four pest-control treatments for cockroaches. According to Desai, the treatment for cockroaches at the Lazy Owl was concluded by Poulin’s Pest Control in December.  

Desai states that there are no current pest control concerns at the Lazy Owl. The Carillon noted multiple pest-control devices and one sticky trap remain in the kitchen.  

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