Pizza Classics, a restaurant close to campus that is beloved by the Trinity community, recently received an 88 out of 100 on its health inspection. Pizza Classics management refused to comment on the rating. Students have mixed opinions on the low ratings.
Charles Robles, food service director at Aramark, explained the importance of health inspection ratings.
“It’s the safety of the food that you’re eating “” that’s probably the most important thing,” Robles said. “It’s very important, because whenever you go to new establishments, [the rating] could tell you what’s going on that you don’t generally see. Sometimes the front of the house is cleaned up really nice, but the back of the house, where the food is actually being produced, could be a nightmare.”
Robles highlighted the fact that Mabee Dining Hall and the Commons have historically received very positive health inspection ratings.
“Historically, we’ve always done really well,” Robles said. “The Commons does really well too. So far we’ve never had any food issues. The last six months I’ve been here, we’ve had two inspections, and both have been in the high nineties. Not only do we get health inspections, we also get internal inspections too. EcoSure does audits on us, as well as Aramark does their own internal audits on the operations.”
Some of the violations at Pizza Classics include: food items being stored less than six inches off the floor, the establishment did not have valid permit and toxic materials were not properly labeled. However, many students still prefer Pizza Classics over Mabee, despite Mabee’s much higher health inspection rating.
Layna Hayes, sophomore, visits Pizza Classics about once a month and doesn’t really mind the low ratings.
“I think their safety violations are pretty wack, but there have been worse,” Hayes said. “I don’t really think this changes my opinion. Their pizza still tastes good, and I haven’t gotten sick. I hope they improve though.”
Madeleine Walshak, sophomore economics and environmental studies double major, also visits Pizza Classics about once a month.
“I mean, I feel like as a healthy American, it should affect my opinion, but honestly it probably won’t because I’m a poor college student, and I can’t afford to care for my health in that way,” Walshak said. “I know I’m still going to [go there].”
Mary Bajomo, sophomore biochemistry major, was shocked by the inspection score but doesn’t think that most students will care as much as she does.
“I personally really care about the inspection score because my siblings have been hospitalized for serious food poisoning before,” Bajomo said. “However, I think that people don’t pay that much attention to the inspection score because the perceived risk of eating from a place with a subpar inspection score doesn’t seem that great compared to the benefit of being able to eat from food that significantly tastes better than Mabee’s food.”
Caroline Varela, first-year biology major, has already visited Pizza Classics several times during her few months as a Trinity student. Her opinion of the restaurant was not affected by the low rating because of the low prices at Pizza Classics and the restaurant’s proximity to campus.
“88 is still passing,” Varela said. “The inspection rating of 88 out of 100 doesn’t really seem that bad. Plus, the food at Pizza Classics is so much better than Mabee that I think most students would take a poor inspection rating for better food. If the inspection score at Pizza Classics was significantly lower, like failing, then I think kids might be a little more hesitant. But until something horrible happens at Pizza Classics, I think kids would still pick pizza over Mabee anyway.”
Jessica Jennings, sophomore urban studies major, was surprised to find out about the low rating at Pizza Classics, but also believes that most students will still prefer it to the food at Mabee.
“I eat Pizza Classics close to twice a month,” Jennings wrote in an email interview. “It’s a cheap and accessible way to get vegan pizza and everyone at Trinity loves it. I’m very upset by the ratings. I think for college students who have been frequenting Pizza Classics probably since their first semester on campus without any real instances of food poisoning or anything like it, the health concerns seem much less pertinent than the variety and taste concerns that people complain about from Mabee daily.”