Campus food outlets failing inspections

Just because you can’t see any mice, doesn’t mean they’re not out there. Photo - Brett Nielsen

Just because you can’t see any mice, doesn’t mean they’re not out there. Photo – Brett Nielsen

Mice, handwashing among issues cited

Food inspectors assessed the quality of the University’s food services over the summer, but many of the service outlets had health and safety violations, which have led to multiple follow-up inspections.

Among the food services outlets that received unsatisfactory reports were the University’s Tim Horton’s, Brewed Awakening, Common Ground, and the main kitchen. In most cases, the issues were resolved quite quickly. In other cases, such as the case of Tim Horton’s, little was done to correct the issues. In a period of four and a half months, the Tim Horton’s received unsatisfactory reports four times in a row.

On June 1, 2015 a routine inspection was carried out. At the time it was noted that: “Food or drink (including water and ice) is not prepared, stored, cooked, processed, dispensed, transported, served or sold in a sanitary manner or under sanitary conditions; [the] food facility is not free of pests and; a portion of the food facility is not kept clean, and/or in good repair.” The report also called into question hand washing practices in the facility.

A follow-up inspection three weeks later deemed the issues were resolved, except for the storage and delivery of food, which was still considered unsanitary. Then, only a month later, pest control and hand washing were again raised as concerns in an Aug. 19 report. The same report also concluded that food protection had not yet been adequately fixed.

At this point, according to food services, the University, who is ultimately in charge of the pest control aspect, was notified of the problem.

“There was a mice problem, they patched the holes, but there was immediate action. At that point [the august report] we contacted the university and let them know. We don’t take chances,” says Chartwells Foodservice Manager Avash Ghimire.

Bettina Walsh, Director of Student Affairs Operations, says, “There was work that needed to be done on the structure of the building. The health inspector talks about evidence of mice, so, they didn’t see the mice. They saw evidence of [mice] so that would be droppings, that sort of thing.”

This offers further evidence that the ongoing infrastructure deficit at U of R is harming students directly.

However, a month later, a Sept. 17 report reveals that the pest problem was still not fixed, and the initial report in June had already highlighted pest control as a concern. According to the September report, the hand washing and other maintenance problems had also been left unaddressed.

It was not until an October report, over a full month later, that the Tim Horton’s location received a clean bill with “no infractions noted.” But the slow reaction and reoccurrence of pest control problems is worrying to students.

First year International Studies student Derek Graves says, “I am not a fan. The pest bugs me.”

Melissa Pleau, a second year Psychology student, says, “I’d like to know food is made in a clean environment. Cheating out costs people their health. It’s a food safety hazard, I get coffee from there everyday.”

Kelsey Briens, a second year Actuarial Science student says, “It doesn’t surprise me. I never eat at that Tim Horton’s.”

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