Fresh Ideas dishwaster malfunction leads to health code violation

Thursday, Feb. 12 through Wednesday, Feb. 18, the William Jewell Dining Hall used paper products for a period of days following a visit from the Clay County health inspector and problem with the dishwasher.

The night of Thursday, Feb. 12, the dishwasher malfunctioned and was briefly fixed before breaking again Sunday. The repair involved replacing an electrical component in the dishwasher, a rather expensive piece. This concern was a health department issue because if the dishwasher does not reach a certain temperature, then the dishes could not be cleaned and sterilized properly. The Clay County Public Health Center representative who ran the inspection used a test strip and found that the dishwasher was not safe for use. As a result, the Dining Hall has been using paper products and a three vat sink while waiting for the repair.

A representative from the Clay County Public Health Center visits all eating establishments on Jewell’s campus twice a year, including the dining hall, both coffee shops and the Cage. There is no warning before he visits campus. During his visit, he makes inspections and recommendations based on what he observes. After his Feb. 12 inspection, he noted some violations, most of which were addressed immediately and corrected on-site. Most of these violations involved temperature control and food display. The staff reacted to these violations by placing a sneeze guard over the deli section and providing ice for buffet items.

“We have a really good working relationship with the health department. They’re really our partner. We don’t freak out when they walk through the door,” said Taylor Strecker, director of Dining Services.

In addition to these visits, Fresh Ideas Food Service, the management company behind Jewell’s eating establishments, has a “Fresh Eyes” inspection program in place to help the Dining Hall maintain health and safety standards. An outside representative from Fresh Ideas, generally the director of another college’s program, also comes in once a month without warning to make the Fresh Eyes inspections.

Fresh Ideas requires that the temperature of food items be taken twice per meal and that cleanliness inspections take place every day. This information is logged.

“It’s a win-win,” said Kiki Strecker, assistant director of Dining Services. “Fresh Eyes come in and make sure standards are upheld. It’s nice to have someone come in and identify something so that we can keep doing the right thing.”

Both also emphasized the importance of communication with students.

“We’re always open for suggestions. We’re proud of some of the changes we’ve made, and a lot of it has been based 100 percent on student feedback,” said Strecker. “If there’s a concern, tell us.”

More information about Fresh Ideas can be found on their website:

More information about the health inspection can be found here:

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