By Joseph Barrios
Arizona Daily Wildcat
The Student Union's A Place earned its "A" last week when the Pima County Health Department performed impromptu inspections.
From April 4-6, Pima County inspected the nine restaurants and dining services operated by the University of Arizona's Student Union.
None of the restaurants received lower then 92 points out of a possible 100.
Still, Carl Splitt, Union food services manager, said having scores in the 90s is common.
The Mexican Restaurant and the Union Cafe received perfect scores from Pima County. Other scores included: the Sabino View Restaurant, 92 percent; U of A Catering, 97 percent; Louie's Lower Level, 97 percent; UA Terrace Dining, 97 percent; Fiddlee Fig, 95 percent; A Place, 97 percent; and Sidewalk Deli, 94 percent.
The reviews look at all aspects involved in food preparation, including cleanliness of facilities, maintenance and cooking temperatures.
Louie's Lower Level, reviewed on the first day of the inspection, lost three points for reasons including the fact that a milk case thermometer was not visible and food debris had collected under the hot food area. The A Place lost a point because the plastic spoons were not all turned up.
No major health risks were found, said Mike Low, Student Union assistant director. He also said the Union has not received any poor reviews from Pima County in the past four years.
Low said inspections usually occur around lunch time when the restaurants are busiest.
"We try to keep things as clean as we can," said Maria Celis, a Union Cafe worker. "I, myself, am very happy working here."
Celis said criticism about the Union can hurt employee morale. Positive input like this shows the Union can be a clean environment, she said.
"It's not been the greatest year for the staff," Low said. "I want to make sure they get the recognition. I want people to know its a healthy, clean place."
Some UA students agreed with Pima County's assessment.
Alan Belasco, a philosophy graduate student, said he is not discouraged to eat at the Union.
"I've always thought the food here was fine," said Joe Vincent, a communications freshman.
"All the press has been bashing the Student Union," said Mike Rigg, dining services division manager. "This is one nice little exception to that." Read Next Article