Routine checks keep food service safe

By Jean Dobrzynski

Residence hall food service workers can rest now that all equipment is checked on a regular basis.

Kitchen safety checks in April revealed one out of every five pieces of equipment were faulty, about 20 percent, but now everything is up to par, said Richard Eike, NIU head electrician.

“Every kitchen is checked up on at least once on a rotational basis,” he said. “All of the equipment (since the findings in April) has been upgraded to the proper standards.”

Eike said two electricians are dedicated solely to checking the equipment in the kitchens.

“That’s all they do … that’s their job,” he said.

Eike said most electrical problems are caused by general wear and tear. The minor repair work that occasionally needs to be done is mostly bad cords, bad plugs and worn interior wiring, he said.

Residence Hall Food Service Director Ralph Chaplin said he has seen the electricians working in the food service units daily.

“They have been doing an excellent job,” Chaplin said. “Anyone can see the improvements have been made in the kitchens and it is definitely a safer environment for our workers.”

Complaints also have been limited from the residence hall food service unit managers.

Joe Hon, Lincoln Hall food service manager, said his unit has had no problems this semester and the routine safety checks have kept all of the equipment running smoothly.

Beth Smalley, Grant Hall food service director, said whenever she has had to call in for repairs, the response has been prompt.