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HUDS Health Violations Increase

By Ying Wang, Contributing Writer

Harvard dining halls saw an increased number of health violations in inspections conducted this fall by the Cambridge Inspectional Services Department.

Although the levels of infractions in all Houses except Adams, Quincy and Leverett were up since the previous round of inspections in April, the citations seemed less severe this time—unlike in the spring, no rodent droppings were found in any of the dining halls.

Individual dining hall managers declined to comment.

Annenberg, which serves all freshmen, had eight violations this October, up from six in April. This fall’s infractions included stained ceilings, fruit flies and dirty floors, while in the spring the dining hall was cited for mouse activity and droppings, uncovered dumpsters and broken cooling units in the salad bar. In 2002, Annenberg had 16 violations.

The combined inspections of Dunster and Mather dining halls, which share a kitchen, found 13 total violations, the highest number in the College and up from six violations last April. Though problems over the past two years have included rust in the ice machine, scum buildup and keeping raw meat too close to food that’s ready to be served, this fall’s were relatively minor. They included missing labels on containers, a broken salad bar light and no thermometer in the refrigerator.

Combined dining hall inspections for Eliot/Kirkland, Lowell/Winthrop and Cabot/Pforzheimer all recorded three more violations apiece than the last inspection in April. None, however, were for improper employee hygiene, rodent dropping or water leaks, all of which have been consistent violations for past inspections.

According to the inspection reports, Adams dining hall was cited for three minor violations, involving dirty floors and clogged drains, this September. The inspection conducted in April yielded eight violations, including tainted knives, cluttered sinks and uncovered dry goods.

The three infractions represent a six-year record low for Adams, where inspectors recorded a high of 27 violations in Oct. 2002.

Inspection results also showed that the Dudley dining hall was cited for 11 violations in September, seven more than the last time.

Quincy dining hall was cited for five violations—including employees failing to change their gloves and silverware containing food deposits—during October inspections. That number was also five in April, although Quincy had 28 violations in Oct. 2002. Quincy had fixed all five problems by the time it was inspected again later in October.

“The inspectors make sure good progress is made and follow up in every situation,” Cambridge Commissioner for Inspection Robert R. Bersani said.

Leverett had four violations both this fall and last April, though last April’s included rodent droppings. No information was available for Currier House.

Harvard University Dining Services Assistant Director of Marketing Crista Martin said that the inspection results are “a reflection of how hard the dining staff has been working.”

“Inspections have always been something we’ve considered vitally important,” she said.

Following a trend of improvement since receiving 13 violations in Oct. 2002, the dining hall at Harvard Hillel had no citations this time around.

“Health and Safety inspections are a great way for us to make sure we are following, to the letter of the law, health standards,” Martin said.

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