Eating off of paper plates at Redstone


John Riedel, Staff Writer

Redstone Campus’ Simpson Dining Hall lost “critical” points on its most recent health inspection last November due to a broken dishwasher.

Simpson Dining Hall received an overall score of 92 out of 100 points on its last health inspection, according to However, the dining hall failed to pass on one item, that “food equipment and utensils must be properly sanitized,” resulting in a four point deduction.

On the Vermont Health Department’s website there is a checklist of 44 items that health inspectors go through every time they inspect a food and lodging program.

“Thirteen of these items are considered ‘critical’ and address areas where there is a high likelihood of illness if left uncorrected,” according to the website.

“The final temperature on the dishwashing machine was not at standard,” said Melissa Zelazny, general manager of dining services at UVM.

“We continue to have issues with the temperature variability of the dishmachine and it is a mechanical issue that a lot of individuals are working on to ensure we can get the temperature required for the proper sanitization of the dishes for the machine,” Zelazny said.

“We had made several upgrades to the machine and it was performing well, but started to have temperature variability again,” she said.

Right now, Simpson is still using paper plates and compostable utensils and will continue to do so until the dish washing machine is fixed, Zelazny said.

“We started using paper on Nov. 18, 2014,” Zelazny said. “We had maintenance completed over the December break to analyze the booster and it was determined that we cannot enhance the pressure any further and will need to replace the booster with a much larger one.”

“I think it is irresponsible that they have not fixed the issue,” first-year Henry Bilik said. “I appreciate the effort and concern for the environment, but I hope for a speedy return of regular dishes.”

Zelazny said that the use of paper products should not impact the quality of the food.

The compostable plateware is not as aesthetically pleasing and may not hold temperature as well.

The Sodexo team will have to be mindful of that and work hard to maintain the quality of food, Zelazny said.

Due to the switch to compostable dishes and utensils, the volume for compostable waste has increased significantly, she said.

“Students are concerned about the amount of waste being generated and we have made changes to ensure that we can compost as much as we can,” Zelazny said.