By: Jericho Tran
Published: March 23rd, 2016
On Thursday, the Brooklyn College Metropolitan Food Service Inc.’s CEO, John Kuitwaard, confirmed the Metropolitan Food Cafeteria located in Boylan Hall reopened after closing on Tuesday as a result of a failed food inspection conducted by the New York Health Department.
“I would like to express my sincere apology on behalf of all of us at Metropolitan Food Services and Brooklyn College Dining Services,” said Kuitwaard.
While Kuitwaard acknowledged his company’s recent endeavors to carry out a “company-wide sanitation and food safety program” he failed to mention which company the Metropolitan Food Service and Brooklyn College Dining services hired to carry out the program.
“I actually almost never go to the caf[eteria] as I usually have my own food, but the one day I happen to go to get some food, they had just closed it down. Go figure,” said Brooklyn College student Aaron Shrem.
Moving forward, in order to maintain a healthy eating space, employees working in the cafeteria will be required to pass the NYC Food Protection Course and the cafeteria will increase their food safety as well as their pest control visits.
“We strive to meet or exceed industry standard for quality, safety and sanitation in all of our operations,” said Kuitwaard in an official statement. “We fell short of those standards during a recent health inspection that found signs of rodent activity.”
However, this was not the first time the cafeteria was shut down as a result of a health violation. According to the New York Times, the cafeteria failed a food inspection before in 1982. And though the cafeteria may not have been closed more recently, a look at the list of inspections on the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene website will show a broader picture. Going back to 2013, the list cites violations including, “facilities not vermin proof” and “filth flies or food/refuse/sewage-associated (FRSA) flies present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas.”
The timeline of violations culminates in last week’s inspection, when nine different codes were listed as violated, from “personal cleanliness inadequate,” to “live roaches present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas,” to “food contact surface not properly washed, rinsed and sanitized after each use and following any activity when contamination may have occurred.”
When asked about the recent close, the college stated, “While we regret this inconvenience, the health of the college community is our priority and we will make sure all New York City Department of Health and regulations are followed.”
Additional reporting by Radhika Viswanathan