Health Department Suspends Food Permits on Texas A&M Campus

By: Clay Falls and John Gilbert Email
By: Clay Falls and John Gilbert Email
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COLLEGE STATION *10 P.M. Update*

Brazos County health inspectors shut down several Texas A&M food courts and part of a student dining hall this week after they found violations, including a cockroach infestation and rodent droppings.

The food court on the main level of the Memorial Student Center was shut down for 24 hours as well as parts of Sbisa Dining Hall.

Health inspectors say it was a routine inspection they do every six months.

But the roaches and droppings were enough cause for concern to suspend food permits for a full 24 hours.

It's not the things you want to find at your local place to eat.

The Memorial Student Center Food Court at Texas A&M was shut down for 24 hours Thursday after health inspectors found rodent droppings here by the Flag Room.

"Little grossed out if I'm honest but it's kind of funny, it's kind of funny. there's a little bit humor to it," said Texas A&M Student Scott Holt.

Holt hadn't heard about the shutdowns.
At Sbisa Dining Hall health inspectors also found a roach infestation at the Sbisa World Cuisine, the Sbisa kitchen and dish room and Einstein Bagels.

"Einstein's is definitely one of my favorite spots. It's a bummer to hear that they might have a roach problem but I'll still be back. I'm not a afraid of it for sure," Holt added.

Brazos County Health Inspector Shelley Hobbs found the violations in the MSC Food Court.

"Definitely saw evidence of too many, too many droppings where we felt that was a factor that would affect the public's health," Hobbs said.

Environmental Health Specialist Shelly Cmajdalka was at Sbisa.

"We see this from time to time at any of our establishments. It's something that can happen. We encourage them all to work with pest control just to prevent this kind of thing from happening in the future," said Shelly Cmajdalka .

Last year Texas A&M outsourced their dining services management to Chartwells, a member of the Compass Group.

The health inspectors returned to the areas Friday where they say all violations had been corrected and the restaurants were reopened.

"To reinstate their permit you know we ensure that every thing had been cleaned and sanitized," said Shelley Hobbs.

While students like Scott Holt were disgusted, he says he's really not worried.

"It' a good place. I'm not scared, I'm not scared," said Hobbs.

Texas A&M officials were unavailable for an on camera interview but released a statement that said in part:

"We are fully committed to ensure that the issues identified by inspectors are effectively addressed and corrected as soon as possible. We are working closely with the Chartwells team to address this situation," said Ralph R. Davila, Texas A&M Executive Director/Contract Management – Outsourcing.

Health officials say they will be visiting again this year to follow up.

Brazos County Health Officials say they are unaware of any previous shutdowns at Texas A&M dining halls due to pest problems in recent years.

But inspectors did say there have been problems in the past including no hot water due to construction.

Statement from Chartwells Higher Education Dining Services

“The health and safety of our guests is always Chartwells Higher Education Dining Services’ highest priority. Upon learning the circumstances today, Chartwells took immediate action to eradicate issues and is confident that both dining venues will re-open tomorrow. Chartwells is working closely with the University in support of both corrective efforts as well proactive measures to ensure that such instances do not occur again. Chartwells has extensive procedures in place regarding dining facility sanitation that are in full compliance with food safety and sanitation laws and uses rigorous third-party external audits to ensure the highest industry quality assurance standards are met. Since beginning our contract with the University, all dining operations have been up to code on all health inspections.”

*Previous Story*

Brazos County Health Inspectors this week suspended some food service permits on the Texas A&M campus.

The Memorial Student Center Food Court, across from the Flag Room, was closed Thursday for a mandatory 24 hours.

The permit was suspended because of rodent droppings and was re-opened Friday after a follow up inspection.

The permits were also suspended for Einstein Bagel, Sbisa World Cuisine, and the Sbisa kitchen and dish room due to a roach infestation.

They were also closed for a mandatory 24 hours and were re-opened on Friday.

Although the facilities are on the A&M campus, they are operated by Chartwells as part of an outsourcing contract.

A statement from Texas A&M said: “We have become acutely aware and obviously concerned that two campus eating facilities operated by Chartwells -- including the first level food court area of the Memorial Student Center -- have been closed temporarily by Brazos County Health Department officials following a routine inspection. Einstein Brother’s Bagels, adjacent to Sbisa Dining Center, also was closed for a mandatory 24-hour period to ensure violations are corrected. All other dining facilities are open for business.

­While all dining operations are under the contractual management and oversight of Chartwells Higher Education Dining Services, a private vendor, we are fully committed to ensure that the issues identified by inspectors are effectively addressed and corrected as soon as possible.

We are working closely with the Chartwells team to address this situation.”


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