ST. LOUIS - OSHA, the Occupation Safety and Health Administration launched an investigation into the St. Louis VA after KSDK sent them video of the hospital's "nutrition room."
The video was supplied by a nurse who says he complained about the unsanitary conditions for about a month but when there was no response, he contacted us.
Wes Gordon works on the seventh floor of the St. Louis VA off of Grand. His video shows the nutrition room, under construction. The snacks and drinks served to veterans remains in a refrigerator that sits on the floor. A dust covered microwave has items on top of it as well.
The room's walls are torn up exposing wires and pipes. At least two broken and cracked sinks litter the floor and there is dusty food on top of the microwave.
"The fact that nobody goes into that room and cleans it and they keep stacking more and more crap in that room, it's just disgusting to me that they think veterans should have to eat from a disgusting room like that," said Gordon, who served in Desert Storm.
He said the only way the unsanitary conditions will change is if KSDK shines a light on it.
"It's an obstacle course of health hazards. As much as I try and as many emails as I send I cannot get it to change. I cannot. Unless you expose it, it will never change," said Gordon.
It's not just the nutrition room that disgusts Gordon and another nurse NewsChannel 5's Leisa Zigman spoke to. It is also what the veterans are served.
"When I say crap sandwiches I mean it. Just like two hard pieces of bread with a piece of boloney in the middle and that's what somebody who has been down in the ER for 12 hours gets. That is what a veteran who has his legs blown off who served his country gets when they come into the VA system and it's disgusting," he explained.
KSDK sent the video to the St. Louis VA for an explanation. A spokesperson said there are several construction projects underway to enhance and improve patient care.
The statement continues, "It is not our practice to leave a refrigerator, microwave and/or food items in an area that would be unhealthy or unsafe. The refrigerator and microwave were moved to a secured area in the nurse's lounge."
That may not be enough to avoid an OSHA penalty or fine. Investigators showed up at the hospital after seeing the video. We also sent copies to Missouri lawmakers.
"I find this footage appalling. Our veterans deserve the highest level of care which they have earned through their valor and military service. My office is currently looking into similar claims regarding food and nutrition, including a laundry list of other inquiries to the VA. I will not stop investigating these claims until our veterans receive the treatment they deserve," said Rep. Ann Wagner (R) Second Congressional District.