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Campus dining services striving to provide quality food

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File photo
Every year the Pueblo County Health Department thoroughly inspects and rates the dining services. This year the Columbine Café, which is the main kitchen, had only minor violations. File photo

Claudia Walters, director of dining services, assures students that the food provided throughout campus is safely prepared and stored by the staff of Chartwells.

Every year the Pueblo County Health Department thoroughly inspects and rates the dining services. This year the Columbine Café, which is the main kitchen, had only minor violations.

“These are none contact food services, which means there was some kind of debris on the floor which hadn’t been swept up yet,” Walters stated.

More frequent sweeping and mopping is now done to correct this violation, according to Walters.

“Chartwells pays an independent company to come and evaluate us beyond what the health department does. They gave us a green rating, being the good rating, which is not easy,” Walters said.

EcoSure rates on a green, yellow and red system. Green is the best rating and red is the worst grade to receive.

Walters also makes sure that all employees are properly trained on proper food handling techniques and proper hygiene in the work place.

When the employee begins to work for Chartwells, they are given an employee handbook, pertaining to food safety, to read, according to Walters. The book covers personal hygiene, proper washing of hands and the correct temperature which food is to be cooked and stored at.

Walters also added that temperatures are taken frequently to ensure quality and safety.

To further the effort in food safety, Chartwells has installed several devices to help reduce flies in the prep and service areas. Walters explained that there are several fly zappers, which are not located near the prep or service areas, to keep flies away from food.

On the loading doors, a vent constantly blows air through the doorway to deter flies from entering the kitchen.

Students emptying all of the food from their plates into the trash could also help reduce the fly count in the cafeteria, Walters explained.

Walters wants students to know their food is carefully handled and prepped.

“We’re trying to do a good job for you guys,” Walters said.

Students with additional questions can call Walters at (719) 549-2920, or access health inspection records, which are available to the public online through the Pueblo County Health Department website.