Higher risk levels mean tighter standards

By: Grant Goetcheus
Twitter: @goetcheusg
Email: goetcheusg@Findlay.edu

The University of Findlay is a smaller size university, except when it comes to feeding the more than 4,000 students enrolled. The students are able to pick their own meal plan that allows them to get food from several places around campus. Among the different options include the Refinery; the newest addition to UF dinning services.
The Refinery is located in the newest building on campus, the College of Business and Center for Student Life. It offers a variety of different food options. From Mexican, to sushi, to subs, there are many options. The Refinery joins Henderson Dining Hall, which sees the most traffic, in feeding the campus population.
As a result, David Harr, director of dining services at the University, says keeping this area clean is not an easy feat to accomplish.
“The County Health Department comes in three times a year on campus here because of our license. Some places they only have to do once, but they come here three times because we have a large amount,” explained Harr. “Plus, also, Sodexo has a third party person that comes in and does an unannounced inspection as well; what health department they look at, how it is this day.”
Both Henderson Dining Hall and the Refinery are referred to as Risk Level 4, the highest risk, by the Hancock Public Health. This department is the governing body that oversees all inspections. A facility is inspected based on the Ohio Department of Health food operation rules. The risk level is based on the likelihood of the facility causing a foodborne illness outbreak. To be classified as a Level 4, a facility must, in addition to doing all food preparation activities, do one or more of the following: reheat bulk quantities of leftover TCS foods more than once every seven days, serve high risk clientele such as nursing homes or offering catering services.
When the Hancock Public Health does inspections there are two types: Standard and Critical Control Point (CCP). A Risk Level 4 must have two Standard Inspections and two CCPs.
According Hancock Public Health, a “Standard Inspection” includes “evaluating structural integrity and sanitation of the facility and evaluating all food safety issues including temperature controls, preparation practices, storage procedures, and dish washing procedures.”
The department states a “Critical Control Point Inspection” involves “concentrating on the preparation procedures of the facility, and evaluating such factors as preparation procedures, temperature controls, hand washing procedures, barrier usage, cooking procedures, cooling procedures, thermometer usage, etc.”
On their website, Hancock Public Health states, “During any inspection performed by our department, if a deficiency (violation) is noted it will fall into one of two categories (Critical and Non-Critical).”
Director of Environmental Health Lindsay Summit explains the misconceptions that surround this area.
“A common question that we get and that we even see now, with social media, people posting on establishments that they maybe feel aren’t … don’t meet cleanliness, is, ‘Why don’t you find them?’ Or, ‘Why don’t you shut them down?’” said Summit. “But everybody’s code and administrative code does not give us the authority to fine anyone. The only time we shut someone down, like, immediately, is if we walk in there and there’s something that’s going to cause a true immediate public health issue.”
Though at a Risk Level 4, both the staff for UF dining services and Hancock Public Health work hard to make sure that food preparation and cooking is done properly so that food eaten around campus is safe.

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