Health inspection of MGC catering facilities shows multiple health code violations


A recent health check report obtained by The Eagle shows that the dining facilities at the Mary Graydon Center violated numerous health regulations.

The inspection was carried out on September 21 after a complaint was filed with the DC Department of Health.

The report concluded that catering establishments fall under risk category three, which stands for moderate risk, according to DC Health. When asked about the complaint that led to the inspection, DC Health did not provide details and referred The Eagle to the inspection report.

“An inspector visited the restaurants at Mary Graydon Center on September 21 and identified areas for improvement in our services,” Elizabeth Deal, assistant vice president of community and internal communications, said in a statement to The Eagle. “Items noted included regular hot/cold food temperature checks, proper labeling and surface cleaning. Upon receipt of the report from DC Health, we took action to resolve the identified issues and all were resolved.

The report describes instances of unsanitary food contact surfaces, including a meat slicer, a prep table with ready-to-eat food, and a rusty can opener.

The inspector also observed that “mold is building up on the ice maker’s plastic drip panel,” according to the report.

The report also revealed that food was not kept at appropriate temperatures, especially cold items in the open cooler and coolers within easy reach. Also, the cold holding unit was not able to keep cold food at 41 degrees or less. Temperature control was also found not to be used for several food items, namely pizzas which had been exposed under heat lamps during inspection.

Sushi rice was also badly soured without approval hazard analysis and critical point plan, which is a written procedure created to identify, assess and mitigate potential food safety hazards. The University also did not obtain variance for their souring process, which is a document issued by DC Health that allows an establishment to modify or bypass one or more food code regulations if it does not pose a health hazard.

According to the report, all such violations must be resolved within five days of when the inspection took place.

The report noted that the utensils were stored in still water. Several unlabeled plastic squeeze bottles filled with unknown liquids and unlabeled plastic food bins were also observed in the storage room and kitchen. These non-compliance issues must be corrected within 14 days of the inspection, according to the report.

“American University is committed to ensuring the safety and satisfaction of all who visit our restaurants,” Deal said. “In addition to addressing the areas noted by DC Health, we require our catering staff to repeat several training modules. We regularly review our quality assurance procedures to ensure that we meet and exceed health and safety standards and that we support our guests, associates and the community. We will continue to monitor compliance with DC Health recommendations.

The report includes several compliance statuses that establish how each category was observed. Categories received “IN” for compliant, “OUT” for non-compliant, “N/O” for not observed, “N/A” for not applicable, “COS” for corrected in place and “R” for a repeat violation. MGC received “N/O” and “N/A” for several categories.

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