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Safety First: Food Service Operations Inspection Findings and Corrective Actions


UPDATE: 10/26 3:42pm
At the University’s request, Sodexo has committed to providing:

  • A team of food safety managers to oversee immediate inspections of all campus dining facilities and to retrain staff as needed.
  • A public health and safety expert—who is also a former health inspector—to conduct daily inspections of all campus dining facilities using Allegheny County Health Department standards.
  • Two safety liaisons to provide ongoing training and support to facility dining managers.
  • An independent auditor to perform inspections, ensure compliance with county regulations and verify that Sodexo’s responses and re-training efforts are effective.

In addition, the University is in the process of hiring an independent contractor to inspect Sodexo’s operations and food safety processes. Pitt is also creating a new position—director of dining services—to oversee all of the contracted food services operations on campus and lead efforts to prevent future issues.


UPDATE: 10/22 6:28pm
The University is in the process of securing experts—both independent experts and experts employed by Pitt—who will be charged with ensuring that our contracted food services provider, Sodexo, is following all necessary food safety processes and plans. This team of experts will effectively expand our current capacity to maintain direct and daily oversight of Sodexo’s operations on campus.

Beyond this effort: We have required Sodexo to generate a comprehensive plan that will improve transparency, address current inspection findings and reduce or eliminate further findings. This is an aggressive plan--and one that Sodexo is better positioned to explain.

Our current focus is to ensure that the company fulfills its pledge to remedy current concerns related to food safety while improving communication with the University. We expect the Allegheny County Health Department to return to Market Central for a re-inspection and we will be looking to Sodexo to remedy these issues as soon as possible and in advance of the Health Department’s next visit.

We understand that this is an issue of interest to many of our community members, and we will continue sharing information on Sodexo’s corrective actions on this page.


UPDATE: 10/19 10pm
The Allegheny County Health Department re-inspected food service operations at Market Central on Oct. 19. Though the number of violations was reduced from the Oct. 10 review and the facility remains open with green placard status, the inspector found issues that remain at this food service operation. This is unacceptable, and we are demanding Sodexo immediately resolve this situation. We will expand our independent oversight activities, and we are prepared to take all necessary corrective action if these violations are not quickly addressed.

Our priority continues to be keeping students, faculty and staff safe and healthy. We will be updating this site to ensure that our community remains aware of all inspection results and corrective actions taken.


At Pitt, one of our top concerns is the wellbeing of our students, faculty and staff, and we expect food service operations to meet and even exceed basic safety standards. 
On Oct. 10, the Allegheny County Health Department inspected our main Pittsburgh-campus dining area, Market Central, operated by a food services contractor, Sodexo. This inspection found a number of instances that required corrective action. Sodexo immediately addressed and remediated all food-safety concerns and all operations on campus maintained the County’s green “inspected and permitted” placard. The University will continue to monitor this issue closely and ensure that the necessary steps are taken to prevent or promptly address findings as they arise. In the interest of transparency and accountability, we are publishing the immediate actions that Sodexo has reported taking to address each of the health department’s findings.

CORRECTIVE ACTIONS

Assessment Category 1 Food Source/Condition
Corrective Action: Food affected by condensation removed immediately. Cause of condensation found to be from open door during loading. Employees retrained on proper freezer loading.
Finding date: Oct. 10. Action taken: Oct. 10

Assessment Category 5 Cooling Food
Corrective Action: Equipment was at required temperature, but meats were recently sliced and had not had time to cool. Provided retraining on appropriate portion sizes to be cooled in a pan.  Sushi delivery process has been revised to insure compliant temperatures. 
Finding date: Oct. 10. Action taken: Oct. 10

Assessment Category 6 Hot Holding Temperatures
Corrective Action: Veggie patties and chicken were sitting under heat lamps in preparation for high volume of customers. Now all are being made to order to ensure compliant temperature.
Finding date: Oct. 10. Action taken: Oct. 10

Assessment Category 7 Cold Holding Temperatures
Corrective Action: All food not cooled to compliant temperatures at time of inspection was discarded. Coolers were verified to be holding temperatures correctly. Several foods had been prepared immediately prior to inspection and had not had time to cool. Steam table well no longer used for cold products.
Finding date: Oct. 10. Action taken: Oct. 10

Assessment Category 8 Facilities to Maintain Temperature
Corrective Action: Employees have been retrained to ensure cold items are placed in the cold holding unit. Ice was removed and new drapes installed at freezer entrance to prevent warm air during deliveries. Thermometers added immediately as needed. Milk nozzle cut and employees retrained to ensure all nozzles are cut to a 45 degree angle.
Finding date: Oct. 10. Action taken: Oct. 10

Assessment Category 9 Date Marking of Food
Corrective Action: All labeling stickers have been updated with discard dates. New Registered Dietician assigned responsibility for monitoring all labeling.
Finding date: Oct. 10. Action taken: Oct. 10

Assessment Category 11 Cross-Contamination Prevention
Corrective Action: Water was cloudy because ice cream scoop dipper well was turned off.  Dipper well confirmed to be operating correctly, staff retrained to ensure proper use.
Finding date: Oct. 10. Action taken: Oct. 10

Assessment Category 13 Employee Personal Hygiene
Corrective Action: Employee was addressed immediately and received food safety re-training.  Meal policy has been reiterated to all employees at pre-shift meetings. Employee beverage policy has been reviewed: all beverages will be consumed in the breakroom.
Finding date: Oct. 10. Action taken: Oct. 10

Assessment Category 14 Cleaning and Sanitization
Corrective Action: Employees were re-trained on dish room procedures and quality assurance before delivering utensils to the front of the house. Squeeze bottle cited was discarded immediately and new one provided. Pot sink is not used for sanitization; pots are run through the dish machine for proper sanitization. Gaskets for coolers were replaced except for two coolers – those gaskets were ordered and will be replaced on 10/19. Employee using scissors was addressed and re-trained on food safety policy. Hood filters were removed and cleaned immediately. Hood at pizza oven was cleaned immediately. Frequency of cleaning filters and hoods has been increased.
Finding date: Oct. 10. Action taken: Oct. 10 and Oct. 19

Assessment Category 16 Waste Water Disposal
Corrective Actions: Filter system was replaced.

Assessment Category 18 Handwashing Facilities
Corrective Action:  Hand wash sign added immediately. Trash can moved to a convenient location. Paper towels added immediately to dispenser.
Finding date: Oct. 10. Action taken: Oct. 10

Assessment Category 19 Pest Management
Corrective Action: Exterminator arrived on same day for treatment of the few small flies; no sightings on last three reports. Gaps on doors corrected on 10/18.
Finding date: Oct. 10. Action taken: Oct. 10 and Oct. 18.

Assessment Category 23 Contamination Prevention – Food, Utensils and Equipment

Corrective Action: Employees retrained to display apples under sneeze protection. Employees were retrained to make sure handles stay out of food. Ice paddles are properly stored when not in use. Desserts were uncovered because they were being replenished on the display counter. Employees have been retrained to utilize cart covers when not replenishing.
Finding date: Oct. 10. Action taken: Oct. 10

Assessment Category 24 Fabrication, Design, Installation and Maintenance
Corrective Action: Damaged fryer skimmers were discarded and replaced. Crates were removed immediately and items are properly stored on racks. The hot box was empty and not in use; it was discarded immediately.  Material at Flying Star will be replaced on 10/19. Gaskets for coolers were replaced except for two coolers – those gaskets were ordered and will be replaced on 10/19.
Finding date: Oct. 10. Action taken: Oct. 10 and Oct. 19

Assessment Category 27 Floors
Corrective Action: Cove base was repaired. Drains and floors were cleaned immediately and employees retrained on proper cleaning procedure.
Finding date: Oct. 10. Action taken: Oct. 10

Assessment Category 28 Walls and ceilings
Corrective Action: Ceiling tiles replaced.
Finding date: Oct. 10. Action taken: Oct. 10

Assessment Category 30 Ventilation
Corrective Action: Vent hood gaps corrected by installing correct size filters.
Finding date: Oct. 10. Action taken: Oct. 10

Assessment Category 31 Dressing rooms and locker rooms
Corrective Action: Individual lockers are provided for every employee to store items away from food areas. Retraining has been conducted. Items were stored in a separated section of the locker room designated for storage. They have been moved and this area is no longer used for storage.
Finding date: Oct. 10. Action taken: Oct. 10

 

The University of Pittsburgh values safety and we value your input. If you see any potential violations in our dining facilities,

please contact Panther Central at 412-648-1100. 


 

 

 

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