Since January, students hoping to have a helping of ice cream with their meal at Pomona College dining halls have found the self-serve station defunct. Earlier this school year, any Pomona dining hall patron desiring ice cream was required to be served by a trained dining hall worker. Now, all ice cream at Frank, Oldenborg and Frary Dining Halls has been replaced by prepackaged frozen treats, such as ice cream sandwiches, styrofoam ice cream cups, and fudge bars.
General Manager of Dining Services Glenn Graziano said that the change was prompted by a warning from an inspector from the Department of Public Health, not an internal complaint from the Pomona College community.
“The Health Department will take points away from an establishment that allows self-serve ice cream,” Graziano said. “They don’t know where the students have been or whether they’re sick.”
According to Graziano, the self-serve ice cream was considered a health hazard while other self-serve dishes were exempt due to the structure of the ice cream bar in comparison to the other stations.
“The salad bars have sneeze guards, and that makes a big difference to the health inspectors,” Graziano said.
Graziano explained that if the Health Department found self-serve ice cream stations in a Pomona dining hall, they would dock six points from the dining hall’s food safety score. This rating determines the number of annually required inspections for the dining hall and the overall score given to the establishment by the Health Department.
Since Frank Dining Hall prepares most of its food in the kitchens instead of receiving it prepackaged or frozen, it is subject to between three to six inspections annually. This is a larger number than similar establishments that simply serve prepackaged or previously frozen products.
“We’ve had the self-serve ice cream for about two years, and no one had ever said anything. One of the recent health inspectors mentioned [the self-serve station], and we decided to go with the warning rather than get a violation,” Graziano said.
Some students, however, find the change to be unnecessary and trivial.
Morgan Yucel PO ’16 expressed her frustration at the discrepancies between the policies in the dining halls across the 5Cs regarding self-serve ice cream.
“I don’t like being treated like a child. If we can serve ourselves ice cream at Collins [Dining Hall at Claremont McKenna College], why can’t we do the same thing at Pomona?” Yucel said.
Calum McCarty PO ’16 said he enjoys the new ice cream options.
“I don’t have a problem with the way the station is set up. I still get ice cream,” McCarty said.