Flies and improperly refrigerated food at Palladium Food Court resulted in a failed health inspection last week.
New York City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is in charge of restaurant inspections and Palladium’s grade is publicly accessible on the department’s website. The DOHMH uses a point system wherein a restaurant recieves points when there is a violation. Anything over 27 points is a C, the worst grade possible — Palladium received a 46 for four different violations, three of which were critical. Its grade is currently pending.
The three critical violations included having cold food items, including smoked fish, held above 41 degrees, cooling food using a method not approved by the DOHMH and having “filth flies” in the facility.
Palladium’s failure comes only a month after Chartwells took over as NYU’s dining service provider for Aramark, which had served NYU for over 40 years. The university first began the process of searching for a new provider after Lipton Dining Hall similarly failed a health inspection in the fall of 2017 when it received a 39. At the time, NYU also fired its manager for not notifying Aramark when it received its initial inspection.
“The news that Palladium Hall recently received a ‘C’ rating in an inspection by the NYC Department of Health was extremely disappointing, particularly because we are only a few months into our partnership with our new dining services provider, Chartwells,” Associate Vice President for Campus Services Owen Moore said in a statement to WSN. “We’ve made it abundantly clear to our colleagues at Chartwells that this is at odds with our expectations and we will be closely monitoring the situation to ensure these violations are addressed swiftly and permanently.”
A university spokesperson sent WSN a copy of a letter Chartwells will be posting beside the grade pending sign in Palladium.
In addition to apologizing for the poor grade, Chartwells Higher Education Vice President of Operations for New York Peter L. Bonacci and NYU Eats Vice President of Operation Dennis Lestrange said most of the points in the inspection came from the flies, which they claim were present at Palladium prior to NYU’s transition to Chartwells.
“We have been aggressively grappling with this issue since we took over operations of the Palladium dining hall, including multiple visits from New York pest control specialists, deep cleanings, and third-party audit inspections,” the letter reads. “Those efforts failed, so now we’re redoubling our efforts and have hired an independent entomologist to help us better identify the source so that we can take care of this issue permanently. Our staff are also receiving additional training targeted to the eradication of this problem.”
Update, Oct 1: The article has been updated to include a response from the university and Chartwells.
Email Victor Porcelli at [email protected]