Inspection records address students’ claims of food contamination

November 1st, 2012

In response to student outcry after the Aramark story that ran two issues ago, The Carroll News requested health inspection reports for John Carroll University Dining and Schott Dining Hall from the past year. Two standard inspection reports dated April 17, 2012 and Sept. 26, 2012, detailing five total health code violations seen upon routine inspection, were provided to The CN by the Cuyahoga County Board of Health.

The April 17 report described a violation concerning non-sewage stagnant water (including rainwater) that was not adequately drained from the walk-in freezer. Aramark employees were told to drain the water immediately and correct the problem to prevent potential future slips and trips of staff members and to maintain a more hygienic food storage area. The report called this citation “critical” because “there could be an accumulation of ice on the floor of the walk-in cooler.” This single violation posed a hazard for Aramark staffers, but it is the only citation notated in the report. All other major points of inspection passed, including the purity of the food and quality of food handling techniques that fulfilled state law.

In the subsequent report on Sept. 26, there were three violations that all concerned the integrity of the food products prepared and distributed by Aramark.  Firstly, food was deemed improperly labeled by inspectors because it did not have “adequate descriptive identity statements,” according to the report. For this reason, Aramark was ordered to clearly label food with ingredients by weight and, most importantly, with the name and business of the manufacturer, packer and distributor of the food.

The second violation cited in the Sept. 26 report concerned improper food coverings over cuisine on display, allowing possible contamination of food products by consumers to occur.

Finally, the third violation was that Aramark did not effectively maintain its food processing equipment to promote good working order. Aramark was ordered to correct the machinery by required repairs necessary to maintain proper health requirements set by law. It can be speculated that the plastic in the food could have also resulted from ill-maintained machinery. The September report, just like its April counterpart, stated that Aramark was meeting satisfaction with basic food handling and preparation.

Thomas George, district manager of dining services for Aramark, said, “First and foremost, we can assure you that serving safe, nutritious and quality food is our top priority. We take these matters very seriously. Our dining services team has implemented a corrective action plan which includes providing additional training, as well as working with the University to install new equipment, enabling us to be even more proactive in our practices.”

Overall, the cafeteria seems to be meeting all standards provided by the state’s agriculture and health offices, according to George. He also stated, “We are committed to the health and safety of JCU students, and we are confident that we will continue to maintain a quality dining program.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: The original inspection reports from the Cuyahoga County Board of Health are available below by clicking the links. When second webpage appears, click the link again for the attachment.