A’viands cleans up their act

Rut Ortiz, News Editor

The Chicago Department of Public Health gave NEIU food service provider A’viands one week to fall into compliance after four violations were found in its health inspection on Oct. 27.

The health department cited A’viands for being out of compliance in four areas: the pizza station, a sink in the kitchen, the dumpster outside on the loading dock and a remote corner in the storage room.  

“We didn’t fail it, there had to be a follow up,” said Mark Weiner, A’viands food service director. “You’re in limbo for a week, we were not on a pass or fail. We had four violations that we had to correct.

“If the violations weren’t corrected to the inspector’s satisfaction, we would’ve failed.”

The inspector cited A’viands’ pizza station for not having a sneeze guard at the open work table in between the pizza station and the grill.

“It needs a sneeze guard because the front of it opens to the public,” Weiner said. “So while he was here, I went ahead and I ordered a sneeze guard.”

Weiner explained that out of five or six sinks that his team uses on a day-to-day basis, the CDPH  said one was out of compliance.

“It’s huge, it’s a monstrosity. What he did was, he filled up the middle section of the sink, and he let the water out,” Weiner said. “And water and some debris from the pipe started coming up from the third compartment.”

He said that a backed up pipe needed to be replaced and NEIU’s Facilities Management responded immediately.

The two other citations were a common dumpster out on the loading dock that various departments utilize and old mouse droppings found in a corner of the storage room.

“When (the inspector) went to check it, there were some white garbage bags that were hanging over, they were like kind of protruding out and you can’t have that,” Weiner said. “That’s got to be secure, that’s got be closed.”

He said that A’viands uses black garbage bags and does not know which department left the bags protruding out of the communal dumpster. An email was sent out to all university departments informing them that if a department was taking trash to the dumpster, the trash bags had to be fully in the dumpster with the the lid firmly closed.

As to the fourth violation, Weiner said the mouse droppings are gone.

“I bought a shop vac and we pulled everything out,” he said. “We scrubbed it and bleached it.”

According to Weiner, NEIU contracts its pest control to an outside company, which comes to campus weekly.

“We have our Chicago business license updated every year,” he said. “We’re in substantial compliance.”

A’viands passed it second inspection as of Nov. 3.