WABC-TV, New York – “College cafeterias getting Health Dept. grades”

Health inspectors have forced New York City restaurants to post letter grades for cleanliness and some haven’t fared so well. Now it appears a few college cafeterias are also failing to make the grade.

The cafeteria at Pace’s Downtown Campus is used by 90% of students.  But until a few weeks ago, they were not very happy with it.  

“Students would just see dirty clothes on some of the workers, it was just not a place you would want to come and eat,” said Lance Pacheco, the Student Government President, in an on-camera interview with Art McFarland, Education Reporter for Eyewitness News on WABC-TV Channel 7 in New York City.

A Health Department inspection led to a one-day shutdown of the cafeteria, followed by a student protest.

“People were shocked, it just blew up on Facebook. Some people said they were not surprised, others said they were surprised,” said Michael Wellbrock, a Pace student.

A new grade for the Pace cafeteria is still pending.  But, there was a complete management change, after the shutdown.  “It is a very different place now,” Pacheco said.  “Things that were not there with the other company are there now,” Wellbrock said.

The Health Department says it is pleased that the standards and transparency of its food service grading system can lead to positive results.

The New York Times: “Student Gripes Have a Point: Campus Dining Fails Exams”

In New York City, where health inspectors have begun requiring restaurants and some food services to post letter grades for cleanliness, students have a new reason to gripe: bad report cards. It is unclear whether health inspectors are citing more violations because of the rating system they introduced last summer, or whether conditions in campus kitchens have taken a slide.

At Pace, an inspection of the main cafeteria on March 24 resulted in 79 violation points and the city’s decision to shut it. City inspectors found soiled wiping cloths and inadequate provision for hand-washing, as well as cold and hot food held at unsafe temperatures.

After the cafeteria reopened the next day, students organized a boycott and laid out demands for a new food provider. Within days, the university’s president and top administrators appeared at a town-hall-style meeting, assuring students that a new operator had been brought in temporarily and that they could help choose a permanent replacement.

“I was actually shocked at how well they responded,” Lance M. Pacheco, executive president of the student government association, told The New York Times.

Howard Lyman to Speak About Landmark “Food Disparagement” Case at Pace Law School, Nov. 20

On Friday, November 20, from 6-9:30 p.m., at Pace University School of Law,
78 North Broadway, White Plains, Howard Lyman, author of “Mad Cowboy: The Plain Truth From the
Cattle Rancher Who Won’t Eat Meat,” will speak about the landmark “Food Disparagement” case that
took place in Amarillo, Texas. The event is free and open to the public. For more information
or to register, call (914) 937-5605 or (914) 422-4407.

Contact: Public Affairs
(212) 346-1637
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – On Friday, November 20, from 6-9:30 p.m., at Pace University School of Law,
78 North Broadway, White Plains, Howard Lyman, author of “Mad Cowboy: The Plain Truth From the
Cattle Rancher Who Won’t Eat Meat,” will speak about the landmark “Food Disparagement” case that
took place in Amarillo, Texas. The event is free and open to the public. For more information
or to register, call (914) 937-5605 or (914) 422-4407.

Lyman, a fourth-generation Montana cattle rancher, was Oprah Winfrey’s co-defendant in the
“veggie libel” law trial. He will examine the jury’s decision in this case for safeguarding First
Amendment Rights – the rights of consumers to have a free and open debate about potential dangers
to the food supply. The program also will include a book signing, refreshments and the NOVA
Documentary “The Brain Eater.”

In February, a 12-person jury found Lyman and talk show host Oprah Winfrey not liable for comments
made on a national show concerning the common practices associated with the raising of livestock
for the food supply. Lyman is director of the Eating with Conscience Program of the Humane Society
of the United States, the nation’s largest animal protection organization with more than 5.8 million
members and constituents.

Founded in 1976, Pace Law School has nearly 5,000 alumni throughout the country. It offers full-
and part-time day and evening programs on its White Plains, N.Y., campus. The School has one of
the nation’s top-rated environmental law programs, and is part of a comprehensive, independent and
diversified University with campuses in New York City and Westchester County.