Students Raise Concerns Over Food Safety In Dining Hall


A caterpillar was found in Hannah Gore ’18’ssalad from the Dining Hall, raising food safety concerns.

Drew Kaplan ’20, Associate Opinion Editor

Dickinson students are expressing concerns over food safety including finding insects in salads, lack of proper places to wash fruits, moldy food and incorrect allergen labels in the Dining Hall.

Hannah Gore ’18 said she found a bug while eating her salad. “I found a bug in my salad that was really large, it looked like a caterpillar or a slug. The worst part is that it was still alive and moving, so I could have bitten into it if I wasn’t careful.”

While Matt Hunt ’19 has not heard of any issues regarding insects, he expressed concern about moldy foods; “I hear about bagel mold from time to time.”

According to Director of Dining Services Errol Huffman, “There may be occasion to find produce (fruits and vegetables) of inferior quality hidden within cases of product we accept. Inventories are checked each day by the store room employees; ordering inventories are conducted each week and complete inventories are conducted each month.  Quality of product is checked during the inventory processes.”

In respect to the aforementioned insects, Huffman explained, “The insects found were in produce from the College Farm.” He further explained that all vegetables go through an extensive screening process prior to being offered to students.

Other concerns students have also include mislabeling allergens. Giuseppe Collia ’20, said “I’ve on occasion found some food mislabeled. There was a soup a few weeks ago that was labeled vegetarian but it was actually vegan. There was also a salad last year that had meat in it but was labeled vegetarian/vegan.

In respect to the incorrect allergen labels, Huffman said “Most Dining Services employees and all supervisors receive allergen training each year through an in-house training program and through the National Restaurant Association’s ALLERGENS certification. A member of the Dining Hall supervisory team reviews all the menus and then looks at the recipes for those menus.  The “Top 8 Allergens” are identified from the recipe ingredients and then the supervisor adds the appropriate icons to menu signs or line cards. I am unaware of incorrect allergen labels.”

Huffman encouraged students “to inform Dining Services supervisors of specific concerns at the time of the experience so that we can take steps to immediately correct issues or problems.”