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Sunday, May 26, 2024

Twelve UF restaurants cited for minor health code violations

Most on-campus restaurants measured up to standard in the past year of health inspections.

Some did not.

In the past year, 12 of the 46 eateries at UF violated state and county health codes, according to inspections by the County Health Department.

All of those infractions were minor, said David Looney, associate director of the business services division, which manages contracts between UF and its food service provider, Aramark.

Among the comments in reports for five on-campus restaurants during inspections were “Items are to be stored 6 inches off the floor,” and “general cleaning needed.”

One or both of those comments appeared on evaluations for Arredondo Room, Burger King, Camellia Court Cafe, the Graham Oasis and Pollo Tropical.

One instruction for Moe’s and Chili’s Too in the Racquet Club was that “effective pest control measures shall be taken to protect against rodents, roaches, flies and other vermin.”

Health inspector Terry Cooper mentioned in his report that he “observed pests in the dish washing area” during his inspection.

Cooper issued the same warning for the Reitz Union Subway.

In the UF Foundation’s ice machine, Cooper found “dark spots,” which “could be mold/mildew.”

Most of these violations, Looney said, were fixed before follow-up inspections. The only repeat offender was Fresh Food Company at Broward Dining Hall, which was twice suggested a general cleaning.

Karen Cutler, director of communications for Aramark, said the food service’s employees undergo training to avoid health code violations like the ones at UF.

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As part of that training, she said, employees and managers are taught to, “prepare food according to recipes and production processes that specify safe preparation, handling and service,” and monitor temperature logs, sanitation schedules and employee hygiene standards.

“Consistent with our rigorous practices,” she said, “the issues noted in the inspection reports were all immediately addressed and corrected.”

Looney said health inspectors respond one of three ways depending on the severity of the violation.

For minor infractions, the health inspector generally mentions the violations to the manager. At the second level, the violations are written down and the health inspector schedules a follow-up inspection the next day.

For the most severe violations, the inspector shuts down the restaurant until the restaurant fixes those problems.

Looney said on-campus restaurants have had minor infractions and follow-up inspections at worst and have received slap-on-the-wrist suggestions. None have ever been shut down for health violations.

“I think we do a good job with food safety,” Looney said.

He said that he and Bill McGinn, assistant director for business services, run more stringent inspection of their own on-campus restaurants. In addition to cooking surfaces and storage places, they evaluate lighting and the outside of the restaurants.

“We all eat at these locations as well,” McGinn said. “So we have a vested interest.”

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