City Finds Violations In Kitchen Sanitation

Cambridge officials have found a string of sanitary violations in the kitchen that serves five Harvard dining halls.

Called to Harvard because of the recent rash of sickness at Winthrop House. Sanitary Inspector Peter F Connolly this week reported six violations, including unkempt employees bathrooms and "blistering and flacking" ceilings in the central kitchen tunnels.

Frank J Weissbecker, manager of the University's fond services, said yesterday that the defects would be corrected by next week, when city officials plan a follows up inspection.

But Weissbecker added, "Harvard usually self-polices its own kitchens. I happen to think our standards are superior to any in the city of Cambridge."

Sanitary violations in the kitchen--which services Eliot, Kirkland, Leverett, Lowell and Winthrop Houses--include:

* The lack of "Wash Hands" signs in employee bathrooms.

* General sloppiness in the bathrooms.

* Dirty cleaning equipment strewn about in the bathrooms.

* Uncovered fond being transported through the tunnels.

* "Blistered and flaking" tunnel ceilings:

* Inadequate cooling equipment under the Winthrop House salad bar.

"Walk into any kitchen in the world and you will be able to see the same kinds of things." said Joseph Nicoloro another of the city's five sanitary inspectors who added. "These are common things that generally happen" in area kitchens.

"I didn't see anything unusual." said Jesse A. Morton, sanitary inspector for Harvard's Environmental Health Services, who inspected the Winthrop kitchen yesterday.

Not Food Poisoning

Food poisoning has been virtually ruled out as the cause of an illness that struck about 40 Winthrop residents last week. Dr. Warren E.C. Wacker, director of the University Health Services (UHS), said yesterday.

Wacker added that the cause was probably a virus, which could not be related to dining hall sanitary conditions.

This week, though, another five Winthrop residents have been admitted to UHS with similar symptoms. UHS officials have not ruled out food poisoning in this group.

The two outbreaks of sicknesses could signal an end to an easy going relationship Harvard has had recently with city health officials.

Joseph J. Cellucci, commissioner of the Cambridge Inspectional Services Department, said that the city might step up inspections of Harvard kitchens and dining halls. "There will be a closer monitoring." Cellucci said.

The only other sanitary violations found on the Harvard campus this year were at the president's house on Quincy St. City officials said that disuse had led to minor defects, which were corrected before the King of Nepal's visit.