Health Code Violations at Sacramento State’s Dining Facility
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento food poisoning lawyer. A recent announcement by the Environmental Management Department in Sacramento reported health code violations at Sacramento State University’s dining facilities. If such violations are not corrected, the facility risks closure by the health authorities.
Details of the Situation
An inspection of the Servery, which is part of the dining facilities for residential students, was undertaken on February 16. The inspection revealed 14 violations. Of the 14, three were considered to be major. When major violations are discovered, a dining facility has one to three days to correct the violations. If follow up inspection reveals that the violations still exist, the facility will be closed at the time of the inspection.
The high-level violations were:
- Surfaces and assorted equipment that came into contact with food were not sanitized adequately.
- Food was not kept at the proper temperature.
- No system was in place to track the length of time food was displayed on the buffet.
Outside the Correct Temperature Zone
Maintaining food at a temperature that exceeds what is considered safe can lead to gastrointestinal disease. The following were noted in a report by the health inspector:
- Milk: Self-serving areas for milk revealed that the beverage was maintained at temperatures in excess of 40 degrees. Above this temperature, milk may develop an abundance of disease-causing bacteria and cause illness.
- Mozzarella and turkey: Both items were found to be in what is referred to as the temperature danger zone. This reflects a range of temperatures from 40 degrees to 140 degrees. When food is maintained at these temperatures for more than two hours or one hour if the ambient temperature is 90 degrees or above, it can cause certain bacteria to proliferate, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
- Some food items were considered to be unsafe for human consumption and were disposed of at the time of the inspection.
The Servery was inspected again on February 20. The facility still was found to be in violation, due to unclean surfaces such as the grill and stove due to grease buildup. The facility was told to clean it up, but no further inspection was ordered.
Repeat History of Violations at the Servery
This is not the first time the Servery was cited for violations. In December 2017, the facility received seven violations of the food code with one being major. The major violation was due to the facility not cooling food properly.
The Danger Zone
When food is taken out of refrigeration and kept at room temperature, there is a limit to how long the food will be safe to eat. Bacteria such as E. Coli O157:H7, Campylobacter, Salmonella enteritis and Staphylococcus aureus can grow to dangerous proportions. This leads to moderate to severe food poisoning or in some cases life-threatening infection.
Campylobacter causes 1.3 million cases of food poisoning every year. It causes diarrhea, cramping, and fever. The diarrhea may be bloody. Symptoms usually occur two to five days after ingestion. It is caused by:
- Undercooked poultry
- Food that came in contact with uncooked poultry
- Drinking contaminated water
- Drinking raw milk that has not been pasteurized
- Being around animals who carry the bacteria
Campylobacter can be life-threatening to those with a decreased immune function for a variety of reasons. This is treated with antibiotic therapy. However, for most individuals, recovery occurs without intervention.
E. Coli infection is a gram-negative bacteria and can cause a variety of infections. The bacteria is found in the intestines of animals and humans. It can be transmitted if ingested, particularly in undercooked, contaminated meat, resulting in diarrhea. Some strains are particularly dangerous and are called Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC). This causes diarrhea, often bloody, fever and stomach cramps. Individuals usually become ill three to seven days after ingesting contaminated meat. The condition usually resolves within seven days. However, some individuals develop Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS), which is life-threatening.
Eating food or drinking water contaminated with Salmonella results in fever, diarrhea, and cramps within three days of ingestion. Most people recover within a week. Some individuals experience severe diarrhea and must be hospitalized for hydration.
Sacramento Food Poisoning Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento food poisoning lawyer. If you became ill after eating at an establishment, you may be entitled to compensation for the financial loss the illness generated. You can reach me anytime at (916) 921-6400 in the Sacramento area or (800) 404-5400 outside of it for friendly and free advice. If you want to contact me online, you can fill out our form and we will respond shortly afterward.
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