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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Industry News & Opinion

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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Menu Development
salad chicken

Vegetables and grains have stepped into the spotlight, thanks to the “flipping the plate” trend, but protein is still an important part of a balanced diet. Sources including meat, cheese, nuts, and meat alternatives such as tofu and tempeh can and should still be on the plate—albeit as a side dish or topping rather than the main event.

“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...

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It emerged as a top food trend on Pinterest’s 2017 predictions, is “the latest miracle food” according to Epicurious, and was called “a nutritional bonanza” by NPR. Jackfruit is the latest superfood garnering buzz, and Even Stevens Sandwiches has gone after the vegetarian-friendly option for a recently launched torta. Here, Culinary Director Brandon Price shares three lessons learned from adding jackfruit to the menu.

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We saw in 2016 that many operators were trying to have some type of display cooking in their food operation. We installed a hibachi grill this fall, and within three months we had 300 residents and guests make reservations. We also use our hibachi grill for cooking classes twice a month, where our hibachi chef Abby Kramer does an excellent job teaching different cuisines. We have received so many compliments that we have decided to get another hibachi grill for a different dining venue in 2017.

FSD Resources