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The Philadelphia Office of Food Protection re-inspected the dining hall in Hill College House on April 5, following 16 health code violations. Credit: Hannah Shumsky

Hill House dining hall was found in compliance with the Philadelphia health code two months after being cited for 16 violations. 

On April 5, the Philadelphia Office of Food Protection re-inspected Hill and recorded three points of concern regarding food safety violations, compared to the 38 points of concern that the dining hall received earlier this year. The same day, Kings Court English House Dining Hall completed its annual inspection, where six points of concern were recorded. 

Of Hill's three violations, two violated "good retail practices," including an inoperable refrigerator and an idle broom and dustpan. The third violation was classified under "foodborne illness risk factors and public health interventions," due to the absence of a sign that reminded employees to wash their hands.

In response to a request for comment, Penn Business Services Director of Communications and External Relations Barbara Lea-Kruger referred The Daily Pennsylvanian to a statement published on Penn Dining's website on April 6. The statement wrote that Hill "successfully completed re-inspection" and Kings Court "successfully completed its annual inspection."

"We appreciate the support and patience that the Penn Community has given us as we addressed issues previously identified and awaited reinspection from the Health Department," Penn Dining wrote. "We are currently waiting for the Health Department to return to campus to inspect additional cafés. Please know that we remain committed to taking a proactive approach in maintaining a safe and healthy dining environment."

One Penn Dining café awaiting re-inspection is 1920 Commons, which has been found to not be in satisfactory compliance twice this year. This includes a number of both new and repeated violations of city health code observed on March 3. Dining facilities must correct any health violations or risk losing their health license or facing legal action.

Since the DP reported on health code violations and food illness allegations in Penn dining halls on Feb. 21, students have shared conflicting opinions about the quality of Penn Dining’s offerings. 

Engineering and Wharton first-year Samantha Ouyang said that she was disappointed with Hill's breakfast offerings since the second day of pre-orientation last fall. 

“I don't really use my meal plan at all,” Engineering and Wharton first-year Samatha Ouyang said. “There's free and better food practically everywhere at Penn, whether it be from clubs, events, or just walking down Locust.”

However, College first-year Ahaan Chhatwal disagreed with Ouyang’s assessment.

“I like Hill for breakfast since I don’t need to wait in a line to get a smoothie and can pick up as many as I want,” Chhatwal said. “Plus, you get to make your own omelet with little wait provided you come early.”

None of the observations reported in Hill's most recent inspection were repeat offenses. In a statement provided to the DP in February, Kruger wrote that repeat violations are “what diners should be most concerned about”.

“I always knew our dining halls had health violations, but hearing the news specifically didn't really affect whether I ate there or not, since I already wasn't eating at the dining halls much at all,” Ouyang said.

Ouyang added that the situation was "almost expected," so re-compliance did not make her feel "all that different."

Chhatwal said his dining schedule was similarly unaffected by the violations. He said that KCECH often uses paper plates and plastic cutlery, so he was less concerned about the sanitariness of unwashed utensils there. 

“As long as I didn’t fall sick, and don’t know of anyone else who did, the health violations didn’t affect my eating schedule," Chhatwal said.