Pests at Ravenhill: A viral student photograph and inspection reports indicate a consistent problem

An insect is found in an omelette
A house centipede found in a student’s omelette

      “That was very disturbing, I didn’t eat at this dining hall for a couple weeks after.” said freshman Christina Devone, when asked about the photograph. “I have been eating at the other side of campus, but other than that I try to be careful of what I am eating over here.”

      The picture shows a house centipede next to a plate of eggs from Ravenhill Cafeteria. More than a dozen students, mostly freshman, said they have seen the picture which has been circulating since late October. While most students remain confident in the safety of the food at Ravenhill, the dining hall has had a consistent issue with pests.

      Inspection reports indicate Ravenhill needed to be reinspected in August, resulting from violations in an earlier inspection in April. A repeated violation was the use of rat poison packets that were not approved for food facilities. And while reinspections are common among food establishments, Ravenhill had not been inspected by the city for four years prior to April. However, Ravenhill undergoes self-inspection by a private firm. Notably, despite being a newer building and less prone to attracting pests than Ravenhill, Kanbar Center on the main side of campus has been inspected by the city each of the last four years. Prior to inspections in 2018, the last reported inspection by the City appears to have occurred in 2014. Before that, an inspection in 2013, triggered by a complaint, reported ‘mouse and roach activity in prep areas.’ Latasha Jones, the official who conducted both 2018 inspections at Ravenhill, declined to comment, citing protocol.

      Sara Lockard, the general manager of Dining Services, spoke about several changes made at Ravenhill Dining Hall, after the inspections occurred. This included installing a new door to prevent insects and rodents from entering an unscreened opening to the food facilities. Due to the old age of the dining hall, Lockard said, Ravenhill required special attention for pest control and as a result of the photograph, insect traps were placed in the dining hall. Dining Services has spoken with the student, notified administration and stated they have not seen anything like this situation before or after this incident. Lockard said the student noticed the centipede as she was sitting down at her table, and that this centipede most likely did not come from the food itself. Lastly, she reiterated Dining Services commitment to providing safe food options for students, as well as handling similar issues to this one in a rigorous manner.  

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