Students Directly Address Parkhurst

UNE students were able to have a Q and A with Parkhurst to answer some of the students bodies concerns.


A majority of students here at UNE eat at the dining hall at some point in the week. With that being the case, many students have concerns and questions about the service. Last Thursday the Undergraduate Student Government had the opportunity to address some of these burning questions to a few members of Parkhurst’s staff, particularly Stuart Leckie, the director of operations for Parkhurst at UNE. Throughout the session, he reiterated that if any concerns or issues do arise, that students should bring these matters to the staff or himself.

Q: What are some of the protocols Parkhurst takes to ensure food safety in the dining hall?

A: Parkhurst takes great pride in maintaining food safety and a clean kitchen. All chefs and cooks are Serve Safe Certified, protein is always tested with a thermometer when cooked, and each station has time and temperature logs. This, along with stringent surprise inspections, ensures that the food Parkhurst serves is always safe to eat.

Q: What are Parkhurst’s cross-contamination prevention standards?

A: We wash or change all utensils, pans, gloves, and hands between each use, and protein is stored in a way that there will be no cross-contamination. There are also precautions taken for gluten-free and allergies.

Q: How does Parkhurst handle serving people with vegetarian, vegan, or religious diets?

A: Parkhurst has been handling this to the best of our ability, though issues arise because many gluten-free and vegan products are thrown away, as they go uneaten. We also work to make sure that during all meals a variety of protein is served. If the dietary requirements are not met, students should feel free to ask for help.

Q: What are the standards for leaving food out?

A: Food can be left out for as long as possible if kept under the correct conditions, 135 degrees for hot foods and 41 degrees for cold. Parkhurst typically leaves cold food out for six hours and hot food for up to four. Sometimes food may be unappealing, as it doesn’t get eaten very quickly during quieter hours of the day. If something doesn’t look appealing, don’t be afraid to ask the staff for something fresh.

Q: Is the Omelet bar open?

A: It’s open as often as possible but hours are often restricted due to staffing issues. Parkhurst would like to have all their stations open, but sometimes it just isn’t possible.

Q: Why are meals repeated throughout the year?

A: The dining hall operates on a five-week-long cycle, so menu items will be repeated during the semester. Often student favorites are repeated regularly, and the menu is re-worked each semester. If there is something you would like to see served, feel free to speak to Parkhurst, as student requests have often been put on the menu before.

Q: Can the dining hall hours be extended for athletes?

A: Unfortunately, this isn’t possible, though the Forum is open at these hours.

Q: Are there plans to change meal blocks so students can use multiple swipes in the same block?

A: This change has already been implemented; the issue may be with guest swipes. Your ID may only be used for yourself, though three guest swipes are offered a semester.

Q: Why isn’t the pub a meal swipe?

A: If it was it would always be incredibly busy, at a rate which it wasn’t designed to handle.

Q: Would it be possible to get healthier drinks in Windward?

A: We’d love to hear feedback on what you’d like to see in Windward, as there are often local options available. Keep in mind, UNE only serves Pepsi products. It’s been difficult to keep them stocked, as recently there have been issues with students not paying for more expensive options.

Q: What about beer at the pub?

A: I’m sure many seniors would love to have a drink at the pub. There are currently no taps as the kegs would spoil, though there are plans for beer and wine to make a return.

I hope that these answers address most of the concerns that have been raised; and that Parkhurst and the student body will continue to work together on improving the dining experience. There are many individuals at Parkhurst working to create positive and safe dining for all who visit the dining hall. If there are any other issues that you might have, please feel free to speak up.