How Safe is Your Food?

We all know that as a student you have a lot to pay attention to and remember. The last thing you want is one more thing to worry about on campus! So the next time you sit down for a meal pay attention to what is going on around you!

The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety and inspection Service) has published the document,Food Safety Tips for College Students that outlines basic food safety tools that you will need to know to keep you and your food safe from possible food borne illness. This PDF also contains FAQ that may apply to your college experience. The USDA has many other publications that cover a wide variety of topics of food safety for your knowledge.

At your next meal pay close attention to the following things to see if the place serving
your food is properly practicing food safety:

Check the bathroom! If it doesn’t look suitable consider what the kitchen where your food is being prepared looks like.

Check the floor. Is the floor clean and free of food and debris? Is there evidence of pests or rodents anywhere?

Observe the servers. Do the servers themselves look clean and tidy? Their appearance may reflect the pride they have for their job and the care that they put into making your food.

Are there any offensive odors in the restaurant? This is usually a red flag that things are not properly regulated.

Note the silverware, glasses and plates and food containers. Are they clean? Are the tables and chairs?

How is your food presented? Does your food look and smell appetizing? Does it look fresh? Does it look mediocre or sloppy? Does it smell offensive?

Notice if the same dish/meal has been served for multiple days in a row. Chances are it is no longer food safe if it has been reheated more than once.

Check to see if there is a visible temperature log or cleaning schedule and thermometers. Hopefully these items are being used at every meal, but if they are nowhere in sight, chances are that they are not being used.

Look up the public record of your food service establishment to see if they have any violations and if they are being corrected. The Department of New Hampshire Health  and Human Services provides public record of the areas food establishment’s inspection results for your information.

Last, but not least ASK A LOT OF QUESTIONS!!!!! If you have a gut feeling that something is not right with your food, say so!  Ask all the questions you need to make sure you are getting the quality and safety you deserve as a patron of that food establishment.

Be informed. Stay healthy.

Sodexo at PSU prides itself on our food safety practices. If you see something that concerns you, please let a manager know!

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