Campus Food Safety
What Dining Services does to ensure food safety on campus:
Through the Coles County Department of Public Health (CCDPH), Panther Dining permits and inspects all of its food facilities on a regular basis to ensure that they maintain the highest standards of safe food handling and cleanliness. At a minimum, all facilities comply with the CCDPH Food Code and all exceed the code regarding certain practices. Inspection reports are completed for all dining facilities every semester and action plans are developed to maintain the standards we put in place for ourselves. Dining Services provides food safety training for all food facility employees. To ask questions or voice concerns regarding any food safety issue, please contact the Director of University Dining, 217-581-5733 or fill out a comment card.
What students can do:
In Dining Centers:
- Wash your hands or use the hand sanitizer each time you enter and leave the dining centers to prevent the spread of germs.
- Only touch things that you are personally going to be using, such as silverware, plates, bowls, and cups.
- Let dining center employees know immediately if there is a mess that needs to be cleaned up.
- Use the serving utensils to get your food. Never use your hands to pick up food items on the serving lines.
- Properly dispose of your dirty trays and trash at the designated tray drop off.
- Don’t share food or drinks! Each person is entitled to their own food and drink when eating in the dining centers, so it is unnecessary and unsafe to share.
When getting meals to go:
- Only get food from the dining centers when you are able to eat it shortly after obtaining it. This will ensure that the food you get is kept at the best quality for consumption.
- When getting food “To Go”, you need to immediately refrigerate any food that is not going to be immediately consumed. By doing so you will slow the growth of bacteria which can lead to illness.
- When reheating food that was refrigerated, you need to heat it until it is at least 165˚F, do not reheat food in the Styrofoam to-go containers. The microwave may melt the Styrofoam and cause chemicals to enter your food.
- Make sure that you regularly clean your to-go water bottle that you received from the dining center. Not cleaning it between uses will allow bacteria to grow and can make you sick.
Food safety in general:
- Make sure that you clean your dishes with a clean dish cloth and use hot soapy water each time to prevent the spread of bacteria.
- WHEN IN DOUBT, THROW IT OUT! If you are unsure that a food is safe for consumption, you should always play it safe and dispose of the food, instead of eating it. You cannot always see, smell, or taste bacteria that can cause you to become ill.
- Food can only be kept in the refrigerator a certain number of days before becoming unsafe to eat. Some examples are:
- Cooked Meat/Poultry = 3 days
- Pizza = 3 days
- Luncheon Meats = 3 days
- Egg, Tuna, & Macaroni Salads = 3 days