Restaurants Exposed: Local college cafeterias get critical violations

June 02, 2017 08:01 PM

It's graduation season, the time when moms and dads across Rochester prepare to finally send that kid to college.

You've likely thought about all the things to keep him or her safe - a safe place to live, a safe car with a good set of tires. But have you considered the college's food safety standards?

In this Restaurant Exposed report, health inspectors addressed critical violations at two local colleges. Today's college campus cafeterias serve much more than the burgers and fries fare of old. Many colleges have a wealth of culinary on-campus choices, and that's the case here at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva. 

Like most colleges, a third-party vendor runs its restaurants. Health inspectors recently cited one of the on-campus restaurants, Hissho Sushi, with a critical violation for food that wasn't hot enough. Food safety experts say it's imperative that we keep food out of what they call “the danger zone.”

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"The danger zone is between 45 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit and the reason that is is because harmful bacteria can grow in those temperatures," said Pete Castronovo of the University of Rochester’s Department of Environmental Health and Safety.

A spokesman for Sedexo, the company that manages the college's dining services, told News10NBC employees fixed the problem on the spot.

"Sodexo proudly stands behind the quality of the products we serve at the Hobart & William Smith Colleges dining hall, which is routinely audited both internally and by a third-party food safety inspection company, EcoScore," wrote Robert Philips, Sedexo’s spokesman.

In Batavia, Genesee Community College's dining services got a visit from inspectors too. They cited the cafeteria with four critical violations for food that wasn't hot enough. American Dining Creations runs the cafeteria services for GCC. The company’s General Manager, Michael McAllister said patrons have no reason to be concerned.

“The errors that occurred were corrected within minutes in the presence of the health inspector," said McAllister. He says the hot holding equipment failed. When health inspectors tested mashed potatoes, they were four degrees above required 140 degree regulation.

"Restaurant operators know that equipment can malfunction. So the situation was remedied immediately and the product discarded," said McAllister.

He says the company is vigilant about food temperature - a vigilance needed to assure that dining on campus is as safe as mom's table.

If you want to know what inspector’s found at your college cafeteria, you can find out.

Here's Deanna's do list.

1. Check the restaurants inspection record.

2. If you see a problem, report it.


Deanna Dewberry

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