Palladium dining hall food caused food poisoning, 3 students say

Three students have claimed that eating at the Palladium Hall NYU Eats location in unrelated incidents on separate days caused them to become ill.

Three+separate+incidents+of+food+poisoning+have+been+reported+at+the+Palladium+dining+hall.+The+dining+hall+failed+a+health+inspection+in+fall+2019.+%28Staff+Photo+by+Jake+Capriotti%29

Jake Capriotti

Three separate incidents of food poisoning have been reported at the Palladium dining hall. The dining hall failed a health inspection in fall 2019. (Staff Photo by Jake Capriotti)

By Nicole Chiarella, Contributing Writer

Cindy Edward, a CAS senior, said she felt ill and had to check herself into the emergency room after eating at the Palladium dining hall. She had eaten a salmon salad for lunch on Oct. 27, started vomiting at 2 p.m. and decided to go to the hospital at 9 p.m.

“They gave me water — puked it,” Edward said. “They hydrated me through an IV and my body was out of it until the following Monday. I had never felt so weak, and I could not eat or drink because I was just so tired.”

Multiple cases of food poisoning have been linked to different meal options at the Palladium dining hall. (Staff Photo by Jake Capriotti)

Edward is one of three students who say they got food poisoning at Palladium this semester. The students ate different food from the dining hall on separate days but experienced similar symptoms. All three students said they did not make formal reports of their cases to the university.

NYU spokesperson Shonna Keogan said the university has received three reports of food poisoning at different dining halls this semester. All three cases were deemed to likely be caused by other stomach illnesses, and no instances of food poisoning were found.

“NYU Eats has many processes and safeguards in place to maintain sanitary standards and practices in our dining facilities, where we serve more than 100,000 meals per week,” Keogan wrote in a statement to WSN. “Our records show no confirmed cases of food poisoning at NYU dining facilities in the last two years since we began our engagement with our dining partner, Chartwells.”

NYU serves over 100,000 meals a week and has denied reported cases of food poisoning. (Staff Photo by Jake Capriotti)

Shortly after NYU switched its dining contractor from Aramark Corporation to Chartwells in 2019, Palladium failed a New York City health inspection, receiving a “C” grade. WSN previously reported that the violations — three of which were deemed critical — were issued due to “filth flies” and improperly refrigerated food.

Edward said that before the incident, she was not concerned about eating at an NYU dining hall. The salad bar at Palladium was her go-to for dinner every night, but now she is hesitant and tells other students to avoid the food.

“Knowing their history in the past is even scarier,” she said. “For me, I now really only use my meal plan for coffee. Dunkin’ and Peet’s are the two places I pretty much go to to get stuff from.”

Following a vendor switch to Chartwells in 2019, Palladium failed a health inspection. (Staff Photo by Jake Capriotti)

Days after her emergency room visit, Edward said she experienced fatigue and soreness and is struggling to catch up on missed work and rescheduled meetings. She said she might report her case at the end of the year.

“If I do get a bill from the doctor, then I’m definitely going to be like, ‘You guys have to pay for this, because this wasn’t my fault,’” she said. 

CAS sophomore Nia Watson also said she got food poisoning at Palladium earlier this semester after eating a burrito bowl, but she did not want to go through the process of reporting the case. Watson added that she had heard stories of students getting ill from dining hall food during her first year, but she had never become sick herself.

“I started having stomach pains later that night,” Watson said. “That night into the next morning, I literally went back and forth to the bathroom every hour. My roommate can confirm for me — throwing up my guts to the point where I thought I had thrown up my entire internal organ system.”

Because we were attending NYU, and because it’s such a costly school, I didn’t think that food poisoning would be one of the things I would have to worry about.”

— Ahla Khan, CAS first-year

CAS first-year Ahla Khan said she got food poisoning from Palladium in mid-October after eating scrambled eggs, Belgian waffles and tater tots for dinner. Shortly after eating, Khan began having stomach pains and nausea that lasted for around 24 hours.

“Because we were attending NYU, and because it’s such a costly school, I didn’t think that food poisoning would be one of the things I would have to worry about,” Khan said. “But after the experience, I’ve become a lot more cautious about eating food from NYU.”

Edward, Watson and Khan said they hope NYU will strengthen their food safety protocols, including preventing cross-contamination between foods and more carefully accommodating dietary restrictions.

A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Nov. 22, 2021, e-print edition. Email Nicole Chiarella at [email protected]