Leo’s Violated DC Health Code
Published: Friday, September 14, 2012
Updated: Sunday, September 16, 2012 17:09
The Department of Health reported six critical and two noncritical violations of the D.C. Health Code in an inspection of O’Donovan Hall conducted Sept. 4.
According to the department’s report, a food establishment with six or more critical violations would typically be closed immediately, but Georgetown’s dining hall was allowed to remain operative because it corrected two of the violations — improper separation and protection of different foods and the absence of an advisory notice warning diners about raw or undercooked foods — during the course of the inspection.
The other four critical violations identified during the Sept. 4 inspection were unclean food surfaces, improper temperatures for holding cold food, worn-out cutting boards and a broken walk-in cooler. The two noncritical violations were that some employees did not wear hair restraints and that the facility lacked chemical strips for testing sanitizing solutions.
The dining hall was last inspected in September 2011, when the DOH reported only one noncritical violation of the health code.
Leo’s is designated as a level three institution— an evaluation made independently of a food establishment’s inspection results — by the DOH, indicating that diners are at moderate risk of contracting food-borne illnesses. According to the District of Columbia Register, a level three rating indicates extensive handling of raw ingredients and preparation or processing of potentially hazardous foods.
In the aftermath of eight health code violations, Leo’s also continues to face backlash from students and workers about dining changes that were implemented at the beginning of the semester. Among those alterations were the removal of the popular make-your-own-pizza station and the scaling back of the pasta station.
“A lot of the things that students liked best about Leo’s are gone,” Craig Cassey (COL ’15) said. “I never leave Leo’s satiated any more.”
Cassey is among a group of several students, including members of the Georgetown Solidarity Committee, that has been informally petitioning Dining Services and the administration to bring back some of the old favorites.
“Essentially, we’ve seen a lot of food changes happening at Leo’s that have impacted students and the quality of food … and we’ve seen a lot of student response to that as well as a lot of worker response to that,” GSC member Erin Riordan (COL ’15) said.
The criticism prompted the university to launch a revamped outreach campaign titled “We Hear You 2.0.” The new effort includes the reintroduction of make-your-own pizza on weekends, an expansion of the pasta station and the creation of daily wok specials and a taco station.
But according to GSC member Julia Hubbell (COL ’15), these changes aren’t enough.
“[The GSC] thinks that this is a very important [issue] that we want to bring into conversation on the campus about the quality of food that our students are receiving and for there to be a discussion about how to make it better,” Hubbell said.
Cassey believes that news of the dining hall’s Sept. 4 health code violations will provide greater impetus for the campaign.
“It’s a good thing to use to get people motivated to change Leo’s,” he said.
Hoya Staff Writer Sarah Patrick contributed to this report.