By Kristina Smithy ’14
As I strolled up to one of my favorite campus eateries two weeks ago something glaringly caught my eye as I opened the door. A big “B.” Spending the last two summers in New York, I have become accustomed to seeking out these ratings and avoiding anywhere that does not have an A. This came to me as a shock because for the past three years I have been eating at the Bistro almost daily and assuming the food was safe. It’s uncomforting to know that the Hartford Sanitary Commission team has rated on of our three dining options as anything less than up to sanitary code.
After seeing this new grade, I paid closer attention to the cleanliness of the Bistro to see where they went wrong. Sure, the salad bar looked a bit wimpy, the tables still had the occasional dirty napkin on them, and the infusion plates were stacked high however nothing really dirty jumped out at me. This made me wonder what was going on behind the counters and behind closed doors that the students could not see. As I walked out of the main dining area I glanced into the side entrance of the kitchen to find a cart of cake slices, and my personal favorites the hummus and pita and the cheese and grapes combo. Now we all know what happens when people assume so I wont, however, they looked like they were just sitting there, seemingly untouched for who knows how long. As someone who always checks to make sure their cream cheese is cold before biting into a bagel in fear of food poisoning, this find was very upsetting. If these snacks were being left out, who’s to say that other products that need refrigeration are not getting it. Not to be dramatic here but will I ever be able to enjoy my pita and hummus again? I’m not sure.
When previously asked to comment on the on goings of the bistro kitchen, certain members of the management team did not want to comment. If they are embarrassed of the grade, they should be working to fix the problems and leaving a tray of hummus out in the open is not the way to do it. Students and their families pay a lot of money to come here, they should be able to rest assured that the food they are eating is safe and made in a cleanly environment. This grade may be a blessing in disguise to motivate the school to keep their dining halls up to code.