Hill House Dining Hall was found to be in compliance with the Philadelphia Health Code two months after being cited for 16 violations.
On April 5, the Philadelphia Office of Food Protection re-inspected Hill and recorded three points of concern related to food safety violations, compared to the 38 points of concern the dining hall received earlier this year. On the same day, the King’s Court English House dining hall completed its annual inspection, recording six points of concern.
Two of Hill’s three violations were violations of “good retail practice,” including an inoperable refrigerator and an inoperable broom and dustpan. The third violation was classified under “Foodborne Illness Risk Factors and Public Health Interventions” due to the absence of a sign reminding employees to wash their hands.
In response to a request for comment, Penn Business Services Director of Communications and External Relations Barbara Lea-Kruger referred The Daily Pennsylvanian to a statement posted April 6 on Penn Dining’s website. The statement read that Hill “successfully completed re-inspection” and King’s Court “successfully completed its annual inspection.”
“We appreciate the support and patience the Penn community has given us while we address issues previously identified and awaiting re-inspection from the Department of Health,” Penn Dining wrote. “We are currently awaiting the Health Department’s return to campus to conduct additional cafe inspections. Please know that we are committed to taking a proactive approach to maintaining a safe and healthy dining environment.”
A pen dining cafe awaits re-inspection at 1920 Commons, which has twice this year been found to not be in satisfactory compliance. That includes several new and repeated violations of the city’s health code observed on March 3. Dining facilities must correct any health violations or risk losing their health license or face legal action.
As DP reported on Feb. 21 allegations of hygiene violations and food illnesses in Penn dining halls, students shared conflicting opinions about the quality of Penn dining’s offerings.
Engineering and Wharton first-year Samantha Wang said she was frustrated with Hill’s breakfast offerings from the second day of pre-orientation last fall.
“I don’t really use my meal plan,” says engineering and Wharton first-year Samatha Wang. “There’s free and good food practically everywhere at Penn, whether it’s at clubs, events or walking under the grasshoppers.”
However, Ahan Chatwal, a first-year college student, disagreed with Ouyang’s assessment.
“I like Hill for breakfast because I don’t have to wait in line to get a smoothie and I can take as much as I want,” Chatwal said. “Also, you can wait a little longer to make your own omelet if you come early.”
None of the observations reported in Hill’s most recent inspection were repeat offenses. In a statement to DPK in February, Krueger wrote that the repeated violations “should be of greatest concern to diners”.
“I always knew there were health violations in our dining halls, but hearing the news didn’t particularly affect whether I ate there, since I didn’t eat much in the dining halls already,” Ouyang said.
Ouyang added that the situation was “almost expected”, so the re-consent didn’t make him feel “all that different”.
Chatwal said his meal schedule was similarly unaffected by the breach. He said KCECH often uses paper plates and plastic cutlery, so he was less concerned about the sanitation of unwashed utensils there.
“As long as I don’t get sick, and don’t know anyone else, health violations haven’t affected my eating schedule,” Chatwal said.