Nfld. & Labrador

'Critical' issue flagged at MUN dining hall by food safety inspector

A health inspection of the dining hall at Memorial University of Newfoundland in February found a food safety issue that had to be resolved immediately.
Food service company Aramark has been criticized this week after reports of poor quality and unsafe food in the Memorial University residence dining hall. (CBC)

A health inspection of the dining hall at Memorial University of Newfoundland on Wednesday found a food safety issue that had to be resolved immediately.

The university and catering company Aramark requested the inspection following student complaints about food quality.

Aramark said the inspector didn't find any issues this week, but copies of the report provided to CBC News by Service NL show otherwise.

The report shows that the inspector found one "critical" issue. Hot holding equipment in two areas were found to not be maintaining adequate temperatures.

The low temperature is of concern to inspectors because bacteria can grow if the food is not hot enough.

More than 150 Memorial University students attended a meeting on campus in St. John's on Wednesday to complain about the quality of food they are being served in university dining rooms. (Mark Quinn/ CBC)

In food safety inspection terminology, a "critical" item is one that must be addressed at the time of the inspection or controlled in a manner that will not pose a food safety threat.

A "non-critical" item is one that must be addressed before the next routine inspection, or by a date specified by the inspector.

In an email to CBC, Aramark said that after requesting an inspector to visit the dining hall on Wednesday, the site was "found to be in compliance with proper food safety and sanitation standards."

The company did not mention the critical issue that had been discovered.

Previous problems found

Wednesday's report is not the first time the temperature issue has been flagged at the MUN residence dining hall. Last month during a routine inspection, a similar issue was found when a rice holder was found to be at a temperature of 40 degrees, when it should have been at 60 degrees or higher.

In both instances, the problem was fixed before the inspector left.

No other critical items were flagged in the visits, however during an inspection in February a few non-critical items were noted.

They include a section of floor that needed repair, pooling or "ponding" of food and liquid, and a hood vent that required cleaning. 

There were no non-critical items identified in the visit on Wednesday.

You can see both Wednesday's inspection report as well as the previous four below.


  • A previous version of this story indicated that the safety inspector had found an issue with the rice holder on Wednesday. That inspection actually took place in February.
    Mar 27, 2015 10:26 AM NT


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