Newly released documents provided by the Florida Department of Health show that UCF’s Marketplace has failed two routine health inspections in the past 10 months–including one in August, with 10 total violations.
Violations include dead bugs and roaches found in overhead lighting, food stored at more than 10 degrees the temperature it should be stored at, employees seen handling trash without washing their hands afterward and spoiled oranges found at the self-serve salad bar.
The most expensive meal plan at UCF costs $1,875 per semester for an all-access deal, plus tax. That number dips to $1,575 per semester for 15 meals per week, and $1,200 for 150 meal-plan visits, which is equivalent to $8 per meal, not including tax.
KnightNews.com requested the documents after receiving multiple complaints by students regarding the quality of food at the meal-plan destination. Prior to the first failed health inspection of this year in February, there were no failed health inspections dating back as far as Fall 2010. The inspection in February resulted in half as many violations compared to the inspection in August.
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UCF uses Aramark Corp., a food service company that raked in $13.5 billion dollars in revenue in 2012 and is listed as one of the top 25 largest employers by Forbes. Aramark provides all of the services at Marketplace, including hiring the employees, stocking the food and serving the food. KnightNews.com reached out to Cassandra Mas, the person in charge of Marketplace, for comment, but we were directed to the Aramark Director of Communications.
“We take these matters very seriously and immediately addressed and corrected the issues found during the inspections. We have ongoing, rigorous training and quality assurance processes to ensure we meet very high standards,” Aramark Director of Communications Karen Cutler said in a statement to KnightNews.com.
The violations came as a surprise to Student Body President Melissa Westbrook, who wants to contact upper officials at the school to make sure health inspection failures like this do not happen in the future.
“I don’t feel like that is safe at all for our students. This is UCF; we’re supposed to have quality things here, and that’s what I’ve know our school to have is quality things on campus,” said Westbrook.
UCF also responded to the failed inspections and told us that Aramark will be providing additional support to ensure quality assessments in the future.
“The Marketplace earned a satisfactory rating during its most recent inspection in November. However, the results of two previous inspections this year are unacceptable. Our students’ health and safety are our top priorities, and we are committed to making sure campus dining halls meet our high standards. Aramark has been providing additional support from its regional office, as well as daily quality assurance assessments, and UCF employees have been monitoring the Marketplace daily,” said UCF Spokesman Chad Binette in a statement to KnightNews.com.