Port institutions subject to fall sanitation testing

Port+institutions+subject+to+fall+sanitation+testing

Jeremy Ettlinger

Students enter the cafeteria kitchens for hot lunch.

Elizabeth Muratore, Contributing Writer

Health inspectors recently paid a visit to the Schreiber cafeteria. According to a recent article in the Port Washington Patch, an inspection of the Schreiber cafeteria was conducted on Oct. 3, and one critical violation was noted: Schreiber food workers were not using the correct utensils to eliminate contact between their bare hands and the cooked food.

“While I understand that these things happen, the most troublesome aspect I found to be the fact that I didn’t hear about any parents being notified. There was no letter sent home, no notice in the cafeteria, no update on the homepage, etc. Overall, little transparency or accountability,” said junior Jacob Bloch.

No announcements were made regarding this situation and no warnings were posted in the cafeteria or on the school website, leaving most Schreiber students in the dark.

“It’s so unsettling to know that I could have been eating possible contaminated food for the past couple of months,” said junior Juyoung Park. “It’s also really annyoing how no one was informed about this violation.”

Evidently this violation flew under the radar of not only the entire Schreiber student body, but also its faculty. Assistant Principal Mr.  Craig Weiss said, “I was completely unaware of any health violations in this school, so this is also news to me.”

Schreiber was not alone in receiving this violation, as ten other Port establishments, including Weber Middle School, Daly Elementary School, and Gino’s Pizzeria also received critical health violations in 2013. In an inspection conducted on Oct. 29, cooked food in the Weber cafeteria was found to be subject to cross contamination by raw or unprepared food. The State Health department reports that most of the violations have been corrected.

After Mr. Weiss was informed, he shared his opinon.

“Along with the District Food Service Committee and the Food Service Consultant we hired, trained chef Julia Van Loon, we have worked very hard to provide better training for the food workers so we can provide better food for the students and faculty,” said Mr. Weiss.

However, some Schreiber students do not feel comfortable with the quality and cleanliness of their cafeteria.

Other students are bothered by the fact that Schreiber does not publish nutritional facts for any of its food options, leaving students unsure about the health value of their meals.

“One problem I do have is that I’ve asked for the nutrition facts on certain foods and they are not available. And that makes me upset as a consumer who wants to know what’s in their meal,” said junior Kim Winter.

The cafeteria workers and consultants declined to comment on this issue.

In recent years, Schreiber has tried to make its food options healthier by putting whole-grain and fruit based options in the vending machines and offering more nutritious cooked meals.