Three NYU dining halls receive A health rating

Bryan Nelson for WSN

With 13 dining locations, hygiene maintenance could be a challenge for NYU. However, the university has successfully maintained clean dining areas and has received all A’s in the past year — a step up from 2011 when the Hayden dining hall received a B and the Weinstein dining hall unofficially received a C.

The latest inspections, conducted by the New York City Department of Health, took place on Jan. 29, Feb. 4 and Feb. 11 in Dunkin Donuts, Weinstein Kosher Eatery and Hayden dining hall respectively.

Inspections of the dining locations are done at least once a year and are unannounced. The DOH assesses personal hygiene, equipment maintenance, vermin control, food handling and food temperature. Each violation adds points to the ultimate score.  Scores between zero and 13 receive an A, scores between 14 and 27 receive a B and scores of 28 or more receive a C.

If an institution receives a score higher than 13, the score is not graded, and the DOH returns in about a month to allow the institution a chance to improve before giving an official grade.

This happened at Weinstein Dining Hall in 2011, when it received a 51 initially, but later scored a 12. Hayden received a 27 in 2011, but brought it down to a 15. All of the dining halls received less than 13 at the most recent inspections, so their scores were released immediately.

Compared to other universities in the city, NYU measures up. According to the DOH, dining locations at Fordham University and Columbia University also received A’s in 2012, but Columbia’s John Jay Dining Hall received a score of 43 on Feb. 19.

According to Owen Moore, NYU director of dining services, the process for maintaining dining hall hygiene centers around food handling practices. Procedures are implemented at various intervals depending on the regularity of usage of the equipment.

“For example, a grill is cleaned several times a day, while an oven is cleaned once at the end of the day,” Moore said.

Moore added that NYU complies with government regulations for safety.

“We work with certified and credible national and local vendors,” he said.

According to Moore, NYU also has its own policies that include inspection of the food when it is delivered, while it is in storage and prior to serving.

Some students sympathized with the difficulties of maintaining sanitation.

“Relative to the number of students that come through the dining halls every day, the staff does a remarkable job keeping the halls clean and running smoothly,” said CAS freshman Ravi Pancholi.

Tisch freshman Irene Lazaridis, however, claimed she received uncooked chicken at the Third North dining hall.

Moore said that all of the NYU dining cooks and chefs are ServSafe trained and carry a thermometer that they use to test the temperature of the food before it is served.

Moore encourages students to report any issues they find in dining halls.

“If this did occur, we certainly want to take measures to ensure it doesn’t reoccur,” he said.

Students should send complaints to [email protected]

A version of this article appeared in the Feb. 25 print edition. Fay Lin is a contributing writer. Email her at [email protected]