This time, dining areas make the grade

All six of St. John’s dining areas passed their most recent health inspections, conducted during the first week of April by the New York City Department of Health.

The news comes several weeks after the University was forced to explain to its students and faculty why four of its dining areas (Montgoris Dining Hall, Marillac Cafeteria, the Faculty Club and the Library Cafe in St. Augustine Hall) had failed inspections.

All facilities inspected recently were “well within the 28 point limit for passing,” said Ken Waldhof, the executive director of Auxiliary Services. The scores of St. John’s dining facilities ranged from 0 to 10, with Montgoris receiving a score of eight, Marillac Hall a score of seven, the Law School Cafeteria a score of 10 and the Faculty Club a score of zero.

In the previous inspections, conducted on Feb. 9, Montgoris failed with a score of 36, the Library Cafe with 35, Marillac with 32 and the Faculty Club with 30. Violations cited included improper signage in dining facilities, food being stored at improper temperatures and paperwork problems with Sodexho’s (the external company that is in charge of St. John’s food services) operation certificates, which made up a majority of the violation points.

Because the locations were over the limit of 28 points, they were required to undergo follow-up inspections to determine if they had remedied the problems that they had been cited for previously. According to the findings of the April inspections, they have.

“[All the dining facilities] have passed with flying colors,” said Diane Jackson, the retail operations manager at the Marillac Hall Food Court. “We’re very happy this saga is finally over.

“We’re looking forward to getting ready for the fall semester,” she added.

St. John’s students seem to be equally happy and relieved by the news that all of the locations have passed inspection.

“I feel that, now that they’ve passed inspections, the vast amount of money that I spend is being well spent,” said Matthew Calamosa, a sophomore philosophy major, adding that it is especially important to college students to know that the food they are consuming is safe.

Sophomore business major Michael Passamonte agreed.

“I feel better,” he said. “You don’t have to worry about what you’re eating here.”

Some students said that the initial news of the failures had not affected them that much.

“It was bad that they did fail, but I heard that it was mostly because of paperwork,” said Andrew Ashe, senior marketing major. “I think it was blown out of proportion.”