When Jaiden Spackey bit into her chicken sandwich at Nelson Court, commonly known as Nelson Dining Hall, she realized something was wrong.
“I got the chicken tenders on a sandwich, and didn’t notice it at first,” Spackey, a freshman studying exercise physiology, said. “I took one bite. When I bit into it again, it was completely raw.”
Spackey said she looked at the other piece of chicken on her sandwich and it was cooked. Her friends had also eaten chicken from the Smoke and Flames station, where Spackey had gotten the raw piece.
“I almost threw up everywhere,” Spackey said.
Spackey said she took the sandwich up the dining hall workers, who responded “OK, thanks,” and took the sandwich. She said she was not followed up from staff after that.
She didn’t end up getting sick, she said, but she doesn’t eat the chicken anymore.
University spokesperson Jim Sabin said the university was not made aware of any concern regarding the undercooked chicken on Feb. 10.
“The Athens City/County Health Department conducted an inspection of Nelson Court on February 13, 2019, and found that all temping processes and thermometers were being used correctly,” Sabin said in an email.
Sabin said all chicken must be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees.
Hannah Klayko from Athens City-County Health Department’s division of environmental health said the health department had received a complaint about the undercooked chicken. On Feb. 13, Nelson Dining Hall was inspected and the inspector “observed compliant cooking procedures.” They also noted that thermometers are available and temperatures were taken regularly of the meat.
“Nelson Dining Hall is a risk level IV, so it receives four inspections per licensing year: two standard inspections and two critical control point inspections,” Klayko said in an email.
According to a food inspection report provided by the Athens City-County Health Department, during a Dec. 12 inspection of Nelson Dining Hall, the dining hall was not found to be in compliance for a few standards:
- A small amount of mold growth was found on the ice machine. The staff was advised to empty, clean and sanitize the machine.
- Food at the omelet station was not stored cold enough. The inspector noted that the food was stored at 52 degrees, 11 degrees above the maximum 41 degrees.
- The inspector located a leak at the dish machine.
A follow-up inspection was not required, according to the report.