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Inspections in Kennedy, Ram Shack

By Jennifer Rooks
On September 29, 2011

The two main dining areas at Winston-Salem State are past due on health inspections.

WSSU's last inspection for Kennedy Dining Hall was reported April 29, 2010, and the last inspection for the Ram Food Court [Ram Shack] was June 14, 2010.

WSSU is a Risk Category IV establishment because Kennedy Dining and the Ram Shack use multiple areas to create complex meals, to cool and to reheat food.

Risk Category IV establishments serve a highly susceptible population such as children, senior citizens, or those who may have a compromised immune system.

By law, Risk Category IV establishments are supposed to be inspected four times a year. WSSU is five inspections behind the Forsyth County requirement.

Aaron Singleton, WSSU media relations director, says that LaKeith Stevenson has attempted to contact the County Health Department about the past due inspections.  

The Health Department has not been able to send an inspector as a result of state budget cuts, Singleton said.

Stevenson is an employee of Aramark, the company that provides the food and the food services. He is also WSSU's Food and Food Services director.

Stevenson said that the meals in both Kennedy and the Ram Shack are the same high quality they have always been.

Stevenson said that the Aramark mandate is to be No. 1.

"Being No. 1, we [Aramark] sometimes add on extra rules and policies for ourselves," he said.  

Stevenson said that Aramark hires Ecolab, a sanitation company, to perform a health inspection on Aramark's behalf.

Stevenson is also required by Aramark to perform his own inspections.

As of Sept. 20, Kennedy Dining's score is 95.5 percent and the Ram Shack's score is 98.5 percent.

The past due inspections are the result of the state-wide budget cuts which were passed into law May 26.

This resulted in layoffs of seven of 10 health inspectors assigned to the Forsyth County's Environmental Division of the Public Health Department.

"We are currently understaffed, and I predominantly work for another program," said Doris Hogan, the inspector assigned to the Ram Shack and Kennedy Dining.

Hogan's primary position for the Environmental Division is in the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Department.  

"That keeps her very busy," said Kentt C. Long, the previous health inspector responsible for the two dining areas.

Long said that temporary events occurring during weekends are inadvertently added to everyone's workload and may have further delayed WSSU's inspections.

"She just hasn't gotten to it yet," he said.

Hogan said inspections are unannounced and by law she is not permitted to say when she will inspect Kennedy Dining or Ram Food Court.

"It should be soon," she said.

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