College cafeterias getting Health Dept. grades

April 20, 2011 2:33:14 PM PDT
Health inspectors have forced New York City restaurants to post letter grades for cleanliness and some haven't fared so well.

Now it appears a few college cafeteria's are also failing to make the grade.

One local college was cited for numerous violations including live roaches.

The cafeteria at Pace University's Downtown Campus is used by 90% of students.

But until a few weeks ago, they were not very happy with it.

"Students would just see dirty clothes on some of the workers, it was just not a place you would want to come and eat," said Lance Pacheco, the Student Government President.

A Health Department inspection led to a one-day shutdown of the cafeteria, followed by a student protest.

"People were shocked, it just blew up on Facebook. Some people said they were not surprised, others said they were surprised," said Michael Wellbrock, a Pace University Student.

A student deli at Fordham University was also cited for unsanitary conditions that reportedly involved roaches, resulting in a "C", the lowest possible Health Department grade.

Fordham did not return Eyewitness News' calls asking for comment.

At New York University, the cafeteria at one residence hall also got a "c".

"There's thousands of students who are going to the cafeteria every day, so if there something wrong with one cafeteria, you assume there's something wrong with all of them," said Phillip Chan, a NYU student.

In a statement, NYU said: "Obviously, we're dissatisfied with the outcome in our Hayden Hall dining facility, which has not yet received its final grade, and we are making all the necessary corrections there."

A new grade for the Pace cafeteria is still pending.

But, there was a complete management change, after the shutdown.

"It is a very different place now," Pacheco said.

"Things that were not there with the other company are there now," Wellbrock said.

The Health Department says it is pleased that the standards and transparency of its food service grading system can lead to positive results.

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