Connecticut schools struggle with health inspections

Even affluent districts have been fighting poor health reports.

Jan. 7—Districts across Fairfield County, Conn.—from Stamford to Shelton, Bridgeport to Bethel and everywhere between—have been cited for numerous health-code violations inside school cafeterias.

Even well-to-do Greenwich had black marks on its record. And several schools have flunked repeated inspections, while others have passed even after inspectors found mouse droppings or cockroaches in the kitchens.

A Hearst Connecticut Newspapers analysis of 2,248 inspections of public school cafeterias performed throughout the county from July 1, 2007, to June 30, 2012, found that health inspectors failed cafeterias a total of 199 times for a variety of violations ranging from hazardous food-storage practices to dirty facilities and sick cafeteria workers wielding ladles.

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Risley Dining Room at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., has just become 100 percent gluten-free, 14850.com reports.

For the past two years, the university has slowly phased out gluten in the dining hall’s menu by eliminating it in its stir fries, biscuits and brownies.

Instead of offering gluten-free versions of typical college fare, including pizza and pasta, the dining service team aimed for more sophisticated restaurant-style items.

Along with being gluten-free, Risley is also peanut free and tree-nut free.

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James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va., recently hosted a weeklong program called Weigh the Waste, which aimed to show students how much food gets wasted in dining halls, The Breeze reports.

Throughout the week, students placed food they were about to throw away on a scale located near the trash bins at one of their dining halls. At the end of the week, the school tallied the waste and saw that 817 pounds of food had been wasted.

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The University of Maryland will begin offering weekly specials at all of its dining halls this semester, The Diamond Back reports.

The weekday specials will allow Dining Services to offer past menu items that students miss as well as new dishes students have been requesting, according to a spokesperson.

Students can find out which specials are being offered each week via dining hall table tents as well as through Dining Services’ social media. During select weeks, the specials may reflect a particular theme, such as Taste of the South.

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“Whatever we do [as FSDs] needs to be rooted in the culture, and today’s culture is all about healthy eating and plant-focused meals,” says Chris Studtmann, executive chef at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. “A recipe is an idea; culture is...

FSD Resources