Local food safety concerns

By Brigitte Zumaya
Sports & Opinion Editor



Students, faculty and staff sometimes go out to eat a short distance from the campus instead of going to the Brookhaven College Subway. Sometimes students may choose convenience over quality when eating, especially when juggling work, school and social obligations. Most do not go online to check these restaurants’ food safety scores in Farmers Branch.

Even Brookhaven President Dr. Thom D. Chesney said he regularly enjoys a Subway sandwich on campus. Brookhaven’s Subway has a passing food safety inspection with an 86, which is indicated as “satisfactory,” according to The City of Farmers Branch website. Some get fast food from McDonald’s, Jack in the Box or Taco Bueno because they are on the run to a meeting or class. Chesney said he has been to the McDonald’s drive-thru on Midway after late volleyball or basketball games.

There are two McDonald’s close to campus, on Midway Road and Valley View Lane. Both rated “poor” food safety scores, according to The City of Farmers Branch website, with scores, of 77 and 79.

After Brookhaven student Yasser Akif saw the Valley View Lane McDonald’s food safety score, he said: “So right now when I see that it’s really poor, I’m not going to go there [anymore]. I’m really pissed right now. I want to report that.” The McDonald’s on Midway Road has food inspection violations for not using proper paper towels, flies and more. The City of Farmers Branch website noted: “Cheese had been out in use for breakfast meals and a foodservice worker came along and replaced the expired sticker with a new sticker.”

These McDonald’s are open 24 hours. Brookhaven student Gloria Martinez said: “I eat the worst. I really didn’t care. At that time I was hungry, so I had to eat … but I don’t go frequently.” A former Waffle House employee said: “Customers complained sometimes. I knew a few customers who said that they got sick.”

The Waffle House on Valwood Parkway failed the food inspection. The employee said: “One time I was cleaning out the refrigerator where we kept the sausage, the bacon and the eggs, and I reached in the back of this refrigerator. At the very bottom, I found half a tray of bacon that had been just sitting there for I have no idea how long, and that’s probably the worst I ever saw.”

A score of 70 or below is considered failing. This Waffle House scored a 67. The former employee said, “I personally have just seen a lot of things, like gravy being left over for days, chili being left out for the entire day and not being remade and just sitting there and getting thick and nasty and gross.”

Another failing score was a 58, given to Royal Chopstix on Midway Road. “Rat droppings were noted on the floor in the dry goods storeroom by the baseboard and in a large cardboard box that had some cashews laying on it on a rack,” according to the City of Farmers Branch website. Royal Chopstix also had violations for employees failing to wash hands properly or wear hair restraints, flies in the kitchen and dirty dishes in the storeroom.

Brookhaven students, faculty and staff have many options when it comes to eating near campus. Chesney said, “You can have food that tastes excellent and have it be prepared in an area that’s not safe.” Any Brookhaveans who want to learn what other restaurants are failing or passing can go to the website: www. farmersbranch.info/index. aspx?NID=643