University Relaxes Ban on Interhouse
University administrators yesterday modified their previous policy of attempting to isolate cases of salmonella by relaxing the ban on interhouse dining to allow students to eat at Houses served from the same kitchen.
Dr. Warren E. C. Wacker, director of University Health Services (UHS), said yesterday he is relaxing the interhouse restriction because no new cases of salmonella have been reported.
"We were considering getting rid of the interhouse ban altogether, but we decided the time period was too short," Wacker added.
University officials predicted on Sunday the ban would last at least another week. Officials then said they believed the infection could spread from dining hall to dining hall by infected students handling food at the salad bars.
"These changes are being made to provide more flexibility in dining while minimizing the risk of spread," Archie C. Epps III, dean of students, said yesterday.
A memo signed by Frank J. Weissbecker, director of the Food Services Department, asks food service managers to allow some interhouse dining. Students at the five Houses served by the Central Kitchen may now eat at either Leverett, Lowell, Kirkland, Eliot or Winthrop Houses.
In addition, Dunster and Mather House students may eat at either House and students at the Quad may eat at either Currier, North or South Houses. Students who eat at Adams, Quincy and the Freshman Union must still eat only at their respective dining halls.
"This is just an effort to ease the ban, yet stay within the framework of the overall ban," Weissbecker said.
The relaxation of the salmonella containment policy will also allow some part-time student kitchen workers to return to work. However, some dining halls still report serious labor shortages because the University is allowing students to work only at those dining halls where they may eat.
In Adams House, where 15 of the 16 student kitchen workers live in other Houses, students ate with plastic silverware and dishes yesterday "so we could eliminate the task of washing dishes," Willmon J. Jacobs, production food supervisor for Adams House, said yesterday. Three Adams House students who normally work at other Houses are substituting for the part-time workers.
Food service representatives at Winthrop and Lowell Houses report they have successfully replaced out-of-House workers with resident workers.
Although University health officials have said that cheese can be a carrier of salmonella, students found a large plate of cheese and crackers on the menu at the Union, Leverett, and Lowell Houses. Weissbecker was unavailable for comment last night.