Updated September 28, 2017
A follow up inspection was conducted yesterday, on September 27, 2017 by FCPH at MDR, One Main Cafe, and the Capital Center concession stand. Both One Main Cafe and the concession stand receive no critical violations, while the MDR received four critical violations.
The critical violations reported in the latest inspection include food held at improper temperatures and issues with ware-washing equipment used to clean dishes.
Since signing its contract with Aramark in 2015, Capital University has received 62 critical violations and 87 non-critical violations from Franklin County Public Health (FCPH) during inspection of food facilities on campus.
FCPH defines critical violations as, “Violations that if left uncorrected, are more likely to contribute to foodborne illness.” Non-critical violations are defined as, “Violations that are not directly related to the cause of foodborne illness.”
The food facilities that are subject to inspection by FCPH are Capital Grounds, Capital University – Concessions, Main Dining Room (MDR), and One Main Café. Among these facilities, the MDR and One Main Café have received the largest share of violations over the last two years, with each receiving 32 and 17 critical violations respectively.
Within 30 days of Aramark taking ownership of Capital University’s food services, an FCPH inspection of the MDR reported, “an employee handling sandwich buns with their bare hands.”
In its most recent inspection on Sept. 20, 2017, the MDR received a critical violation for cleanliness of utensils. The FCPH inspection report stated that it, “Observed excessive food debris on can opener in salad bar area.” The same violation was noted in an inspection on March 15, 2016.
An inspection on Feb. 23, 2016 found, “Raw shell eggs being stored above ready-to-eat food items.”
The FCPH defines ready-to-eat food items as items that do not require washing or cooking.
Other notable violations include a report from Oct. 13, 2016, where FCPH observed, “Several items out of date including: feta cheese 10/2, vienna sausages 10/11, pesto 10/8, cherry pie topping 9/14, water chestnuts 10/7, and a whole cart for the salad bar with items expiring between 9/16/16 and 9/30/16.”
The same inspection found raw meats being stored over ready-to-eat foods, which violates FCPH rules aimed at preventing contamination of food.
One Main Café has received similar critical violations during its food inspections. On Sept. 20, 2017, FCPH conducted a food inspection at One Main Café and observed, “A red/brown build up on the back of the meat slicer.”
Expired foods were also reported during an inspection on Oct. 13, 2016. “Observed wontons with a use by date of 10/11/16 and french fried onions with a use by date of 10/7/16 that were not discarded,” the inspection reported.
Maintaining proper temperatures for Temperature Controlled for Safety Food (TCS) has also been an issue at One Main Café.
According to the FCPH website, “All TCS food must be held at 41 degrees Fahrenheit or below or at 135 Degrees Fahrenheit or above. The area between is often referred to as the ‘Danger Zone.’ This is the temperature range that allows certain bacteria to multiply rapidly.”
On March 15, 2016, the FCPH reported several TCS foods being held above 41 degrees Fahrenheit, as well as chicken being held at 71 degrees Fahrenheit, well below the recommended 135 degrees Fahrenheit.
An earlier inspection on Dec. 14, 2015 revealed milk being stored at 57 degrees Fahrenheit.
Foodsafety.gov states that any milk held over 40 degrees Fahrenheit for over two hours is unsafe to consume and should be discarded.
Other food facilities on campus have received critical violations as well.
A food inspection conducted on April 28, 2017 revealed slimy build up on an ice machine at Capital Grounds. FCPH reported, “A black slimy build up on grey plate of ice machine,” during its inspection.
Similar violations appeared in inspection reports for Capital University – Concessions, the concession stand located in the Capital Center lobby. During an inspection on April 28, 2017, FCPH observed, “Hot dogs sitting in a freezer that has been unplugged for over a month.”
A black build up on an ice machine and a sticky build up on a Pepsi nozzle inside the concession stand were also reported on Aug. 3, 2016. FCPH reported the same black build up on the ice machine in its late inspection on Sept. 20, 2017.
Other local universities have received mixed results on their food inspection reports. For example, Ohio Dominican University (ODU) has not received a critical violation in its last four inspections. The most recent reported critical violation for ODU was on April 4, 2016. Otterbein University received 6 critical violations in its most recent inspection on Sept. 25, 2017.
Aramark’s company website claims that it conducts extensive inspections regularly and provides food safety and sanitation training for all employees. A dedicated “food safety supervisor” is on-site to maintain time and temperature logs, inspect equipment and take any corrective action needed, according to Aramark’s website.
Aramark management could not be reached for comment.
Students expressed disappointment when given copies of Capital University’s food inspection reports.
“The MDR has always been hit or miss for me,” Jason Coon, senior electronic media and film major, said. “I’ve had a few times where meat is undercooked or silverware is dirty, but the violations on these reports are disgusting. But it’s what I’ve come to expect with how Aramark has been the last few years.”
Similar statements have been made by students over the last two years with the food quality provided by Aramark, citing sickness, undercooked food, and unclean utensils.
This narrative is not new for Aramark, who made national headlines in 2014 when ESPN reported that expired foods were knowingly being served during the World Series at Kauffman Stadium.
In July of 2015, the Michigan Department of Corrections cut ties with Aramark after reports of serving spoiled food that came in contact with rodents and maggots.
Despite Aramark’s track record and the expressed concern from students, Capital University renewed its contract with Aramark in spring of 2017. The new contract comes with $3 million to upgrade facilities on campus, and an additional $100,000 a year for 10 years from Aramark.