September 24, 2020

Checking in on Dining Services

Three critical health violations and two renovation projects. Capital’s dining services have undergone a lot over these past few months. 

On Aug. 20, the Franklin County Health Department completed a report that found that the MDR had committed three critical health violations.

One of the violations stated that the handwashing sink was being used to store equipment. In the report, the health department stresses that a handwashing sink should only be used for the purpose of cleaning hands.

Another violation was that lettuce was found to be at a holding temperature of 70F. According to the health report, all cold holding foods should be held at 41F or below.

Daniel Parton, director of dining services, acknowledged that some of the equipment in the kitchen is old, so instead of using a standard temperature control measure, they use a measurement called “time in lieu of temp.”

Daniel Parton, director of dining services. Photo taken by Robert Cumberlander.

“We’ve converted to using time in lieu of temp,” Parton said. “So we document what time things went out and our process is that in two hours, if those items are still there, then we will replace them.”

The third and final violation was that apples in the self-service area were not properly protected from contamination by customers. For a while, the apples were in a bowl that sat on a counter by the salad station. The health department suggested wrapping each of the individual apples in plastic.

Dining services has rectified this by putting apples and other fruits behind a “sneeze guard,” which are the glass barriers above the food. Students can then use tongs to withdraw the fruit.

This is located at the deli station.

To combat the third violation, a sneeze guard was added on the deli station.

More noticeable changes to dining services have been the renovations in the MDR, which took place earlier in the summer so that it would look presentable for summer camps.

After the MDR, the entire kitchen area in One Main was gutted so that it could be replaced with new equipment. They are also pushing for students to use the kiosks to order their food.

“Right now, there’s about 2,200 meals a week that come out of One Main,” said Parton, “and 95 percent of those happen between 6 and 10 p.m. at night.”

Parton also shed some light on the financing behind all of this.

“I would say about $1.2 million dollars for everything that has been done so far. And again, that’s money that Aladdin invested into the program. That wasn’t money that Capital spent,” Parton said.

There have also been changes to the meal plan system. These changes don’t apply to the ultimate meal plan, which still operates as is. 

Heather Barr, senior, wrote an article for The Chimes last year when changes to the meal plan system were first talked about. The article is called, “Meal plan changes, remodel in store for dining services,” and can be found on our website.

Originally, meal plans would reset every week and then from there you would be able to swipe a certain amount of times before you ran out again. 

With the new block plans, you pay a certain amount upfront and then you’re responsible for budgeting the swipes you have for the rest of the semester.

Parton also talked about future plans for dining services.

“The next thing for us would be to update and expand the menu in One Main,” Parton said.

  • Robert Cumberlander is the Editor-in-Chief of The Chimes and a junior at Capital University, majoring in Film and Media Production with a minor in Entrepreneurship.

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