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The Eastern Echo Sunday, May 19, 2024 | Print Archive
The Eastern Echo

The Commons

E|Dining reported for health violations in campus facilities

Washtenaw County Environmental Health documents its recent EMU health inspections.

Inspections by the Washtenaw County Environmental Health details this year’s recent health violations for Eastern Michigan University’s E|Dining establishments. The inspections revealed both minor and severe violations. 

A report on March 28 details four violations at EMU Eastern Eateries Cluck. One of the violations included evidence of rodents.  

“Observed mouse droppings on the floor in the corner of the store room by the single use container rack,” the document stated.

Cluck’s minor violations ranged from wiping cloths not being properly sanitized to several hood filters above the fryers soiled with grease buildup.

In The Commons, a June 20 report noted its meat and cheese not being refrigerated at the required 41 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Grant Saba, a former student supervisor for E|Dining, noticed food not being refrigerated at the proper temperatures during his time as an employee. 

“On multiple occasions, I have put the thermometer inside of food and realized that it was either far too hot or far too cold,” Saba said. “People would forget to turn on the cold holding tubs leading to vegetables and cheese sometimes temping at almost 55 degrees Fahrenheit, when the maximum acceptable temperature is 41 degrees Fahrenheit. This often led to food having to be disposed of.”

Saba worked in E|Dining from the Fall 2022 semester to the Winter 2023 semester. During his time as an employee, he identified other violations documented in the reports. This included food not being properly handled with sanitary gloves. 

“I saw employees not washing hands and/or changing gloves after touching raw meat,” Saba said. “I would tell people to change gloves and wash hands if I was around, but I cannot speak for everyone, unfortunately.” 

In July, another report documented that there were several flies identified in EMU’s Starbucks display case. However, a sign was noted by the display case stating that they were working with a pest control company to control the flies.

Other EMU dining locations included in reports by the Washtenaw County Environmental Health were Shake Smart, Chop’d & Wrap’d, Grille 734, True Burger, and Sonos. E|Dining reported that these violations were corrected shortly after the inspection.

“Every violation is addressed, with nearly all of them corrected during or immediately after the inspection,” E|Dining Marketing Director, Greg Richards, said.

After the inspections, E|Dining reported taking action with the following initiatives: 

  • Increased daily cleanings during heavier service periods. 
  • Increased regular pest control activities and added additional treatments. 
  • Re-trained team members on proper cleaning and storage techniques. 
  • Started continual monitoring of food safety protocols: temperature checks, internal audits, and cleaning checklists. 
  • Enhanced associate training and focus on E|Dining's safety-champion program.

Throughout the fall semester, E|Dining anticipates nearly 50 inspections across its 20 dining locations on campus. Each unit receives an audit from the Washtenaw County Health Department; internal audits from E|Dining Safety Champions; and a third party company hired by EMU to measure E|Dining’s entire service program. The national brands receive numerous audits to ensure compliance of brand service, quality, and cleanliness standards.

“The E|Dining team is proud to serve over 5,000 meals per day through 20 locations across campus and is committed to the health and safety of the EMU community,” Richards said. “E|Dining is confident that the measures it has put in place have addressed the violations noted in these health inspection reports. E|Dining will continue working closely with the Washtenaw County Health Department to address any issues.”