Violations in Inspections of Campus Dining Facilities

Last semester California Lutheran University  opened the doors to the brand new Ullman Commons, ending a long period of anticipation for those who had been waiting for the facility to open for the past couple of years.

Just like any other restaurant that opens in Ventura County, it is subject to inspection by the Board of Health.

On Sept. 15, the Ventura County Board of Health visited the new commons and upon inspection found a number of violations.

While there were a couple of minor infractions dealing with the cleanliness of the building and some storage of food, most of the violations found upon inspection were not serious and did not deal with the actual preparation of the food.

In an email interview with Patricia Yantzer, the general manager of Sodexo on campus, she mentioned the violations included covers for food stations in the deli, open food not stored in proper containers and the water temperature in the restroom not meeting standards.

Associate Vice President of Planning and Services Ryan Van Ommeren attributes many of these violations to the acclimation period that came with moving from the old commons to the new Ullman Commons.

“They were having to open the new space, do the inventory in the old commons, and ordering new inventory on top of that for the opening of the commons,” Van Ommeren said. “We also ordered all new catering dishes, china, all the things you need to run a food service operation so they could start fresh in the new place. And as that was coming in it started taking up storage space so they were getting kind of overwhelmed in there, and that was affecting all of their operations.”

After the results of the inspection came back, Sodexo was confident in its abilities to get these violations corrected due to the guidelines they have set in place by their company.

“Sodexo has very strict guidelines for our staff to follow,” Yantzer said. “Our managers conduct weekly food safety and physical safety audits [inspections], and the general manager completing a monthly audit to ensure all Sodexo staff is in accordance with Sodexo guidelines.”

Sodexo also worked closely with the Facilities staff to correct the violations not pertaining to the food aspect of the Ullman Commons.

“Sodexo gets the write up of the inspection and they are really good at putting work orders in so we worked together to make sure everything was in order for the next visit from the Board of Health,” Van Ommeren said.

Two weeks later, after the second inspection from the Ventura County Board of Health, all the previous violations that had been found upon the initial inspection had been corrected.

Van Ommeren mentioned that the Board of Health comes around for inspections at least three times a year and inspects all of the dining facilities on campus and usually there is some type of finding that comes up due to the nature of running a dining facility on campus.

Sophomore Jonathon Mills said while it is worrisome to hear about the violations, it is nice to know that matters such as these are dealt with quickly by both the Sodexo and Facilities staffs.

“I don’t think anyone wants to hear about health code violations when it’s about their campus cafeteria,” Mills said. “But to know that they take matters like so seriously, it gives me some peace of mind.”

According to the County of Ventura Environmental Health Division, the Ventura Board of Health also inspected the Centrum on Nov. 19, 2014, where the inspection showed three violations.

These included food storage, where food was stored directly on the floor; equipment sanitation, where equipment was unclean and maintained in an unsanitary condition; and facility sanitation, where the premises and/or floors, walls or ceiling was in an unsanitary condition.

The Ventura Board of Health made its last inspection of the Ullman Commons on Feb. 4.

Some of the violations included unsanitary condition of the sanitation, and employee personal items, which were not stored separately from food preparation areas.

There has not yet been a follow-up inspection.

 

Alix Moise
Staff Writer
Published February 11, 2015