Sodexho/Dining Services’ Health Inspections Improve

Sodexho’s UT dining services have seen a significant rise in their health inspection grades since a startling rise in critical violations in the first half of 2007.

In recent years, the number of “critical” health violations at UT’s Dining Services had skyrocketed in comparison to previous reports. In 2005 and 2006, the Florida State Health Commission inspected on-campus dining and found only two critical violations in each year.

However, these transgressions paled in comparison to the findings of an inspection in January 2007, in which 10 critical violations were issued. Another inspection last June revealed nine critical violations. The repeated violations included soil buildup in ice bins, hand washing sinks that were inaccessible at times, food switched into unlabeled containers, missing ceiling tiles and improper use of food containers.

Dining Services said the rise in violations came because they had more on their plate last year with the addition of 85 workers to support the new dining in Stadium Center. Last fall, Sodexho had 250 employees on campus.

Last September, The Minaret published a scathing series on UT’s dining services, but beginning in December, the violations returned to a more routine level (every restaurant has at least a few violations).

FIVE MOST RECENT INSPECTIONS Jan. 2007: 10 Critical/ 5 Non-Critical June 2007: 9 Critical/ 3 Non-Critical Dec. 2007: 3 Critical/ 3 Non-Critical Feb. 2008: 2 Critical/ 1 Non-Critical June 2008: 3 Critical/ 2 Non-Critical

All of the inspections can be seen here:

Unexpected Visits

According to officials, state inspectors randomly show up to check for problems with food preparation, sanitation and procedural actions. Once their report is given to Dining Services, the problems are fixed. Monthly inspections are also done by Dining Services managers and supervisors. In June 2007, for example, an in-house inspection scored the cafeteria a 95 percent rating. These inspections are similar to those performed by state officials. Among many criteria, Sodexho checks for personal hygiene and cooking temperatures.

Besides in-house and state inspections, Sodexho corporate inspectors come unannounced.

Certification is another important process. Every year Sodexho’s catering service, which provides for all on-campus events, is renewed. If not accomplished, catering privileges will be terminated until renewal.


While the number of critical violations UT received was alarming, a few similar local restaurants with serve-yourself style eating had managed to rack up far more critical health infractions.

Crazy Buffet on Dale Mabry, for example, had a favorable reputation among students, but according to health inspections, the eatery was in dire need of spring cleaning.

Not only did Crazy Buffet have 25 critical violations in May 2007, but it was observed again the next day and received seven more health violations. In October, it had 15 critical violations and tallied 25 this March (2008). Serious food violations had included employees handling raw meat without washing their hands, slime in the ice machines and food on “clean” utensils and dishware.

The Golden Corral on Hillsborough Avenue had 31 violations in September 2007 and 22 in March 2007.


Sodexo is a massive multinational company, and its U.S. branch ( manages dining and other facilities around the U.S., Canada and Mexico. In North America, the company claims to have $7.3 billion in annual revenue and 120,000 employees, serving more than 10 million customers daily in corporations, hospitals, prisons, nursing homes and colleges. The company funds the Sodexo Foundation (, an independent charity that has given more than $9.2 million in grants to fight hunger in America, according to Sodexho’s website. However, Sodexho has also come under fire both in the U.S. and Europe for its work in prisons and in the military as well as its treatment of its workers. Also, sanitation and dietary issues have plagued the company. The film Super Size Me criticized Sodexo’s nutrition for children, and there have also been a number of boycotts at colleges around the world.

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