Campus / Featured / News / March 1, 2018

BREAKING: Food contamination documented in the Hard Knox Cafeteria

A photo of the contaminated steak that was served to a Knox student at dinner on Feb. 28. The live silk worm is clearly captured in this image crawling across the steak. (Photo courtesy of Stephanie Cate)

A student eating in the Hard Knox Cafeteria during dinner hours on Feb. 28 found a live silk worm on her food. After documenting the contamination with a photo, this student approached a Bon Appétit chef and received an apology. The photo is included in this report.

This was brought to TKS‘ attention this afternoon (March 1) after a different student reported this incident.

In a statement sent by Vice President for Finance and Administrative Services Keith Archer to TKS on behalf of the Knox administration, Knox responded to the incident by explaining the steps taken to ensure that the rest of the food being served in the Knox cafeteria was not contaminated.

“All food items on the line were inspected; no worms or insects of any sort were found. To err on the side of caution, and recognizing that worms of this sort can be found in lettuce, all lettuce was pulled from the cafe, including pizza that had lettuce as a topping,” the statement read.

The checks extended into the kitchen, as the statement asserted.

“All additional food storage areas, including the container in which the meat was stored, were inspected; there was no sign of insects of any kind. All inspections were repeated this morning, and, again, no insects of any kind were found,” the statement read.

The statement continued to cite strong scores in inspections by the Knox County Health Department, before closing by ensuring that the school “will continue to work closely with students to meet their needs.”

This statement was soon after released to the entire Knox student body through a mass email.

TKS is working to obtain the recent health inspection reports that the Knox County Health Department has produced while checking the Hard Knox Cafe. Additionally, TKS reported the incident to the Knox County Health Department and shared the photo above with the inspector.

Bon Appétit has been under nearly constant criticism from the student body since taking over as the Dining Services provider at Knox College at the beginning of the 2015-16 school year. There have been numerous cases of cross-contamination of food allergens. Student workers have also reported that working in Dining Services has been more difficult, as well as reports that Dining Services employees are unhappy with their treatment by the leadership.

Additionally, TKS was informed in May of 2017 that Executive Chef Jason Crouch was no longer employed by Knox, which Bon Appétit and Knox administrators alike have subscribed to “issues unrelated to Knox College or the Knox College Dining Services staff.”


There have been several forums on Dining Services during which Knox students have expressed that they feel unsupported by the Knox administration, as well as their frustration with the lack of significant changes in response to their numerous complaints.


This is a developing story. More information will be added in the coming hours and days.


Jonathan Schrag, Managing Editor
Jonathan Schrag is a junior majoring in Political Science and double minoring in Educational Policy Studies and History. He has been writing for TKS since Fall Term of his freshman year and has contributed to News, Sports and Discourse. He served as the Sports editor during his sophomore year and has won several awards from the Illinois Collegiate Press Association.

Tags:  bon appetit breaking news dining services Food contamination Jason Crouch

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