Recently, the Health Department contacted the Milken Mart officials and informed them that there would soon be an inspection of the student store as well as Vicki’s Lunchbox. These inspections of Milken food providers occur annually in order to make sure that the store complies with all the city and state health codes.
“Now that we’re physically connected to Vicki’s Lunchbox, we must be inspected along with them,” Ms. Fern Dubow, chairperson of the Milken Mart, said.
Inspections like these started at the beginning of last year. Since Vicki’s Lunchbox cooks their food inside a room attached to the student store, they must be inspected and adhere to the codes. Before this year, the Milken Mart flew under the radar of the Health Department. With the new physical connection between the student store and the Vicki’s Lunchbox cooking room, both areas will now be inspected.
The Health Department upholds the right to come to Milken any time to inspect.
“Even though they’re not required to, they gave us a heads up that they’d be coming within the next few weeks,” Dubow said.
In addition to the standard inspection, the upcoming inspections will examine the few changes in the student store made in the last year. These changes include new refrigerating methods and new products recently cleared for sale.
“The Health Department has been very forgiving,” Dubow said. “They told us that we need to improve our refrigeration and storage, and that Vicki’s Lunchbox couldn’t cook outside anymore, without a penalty.”
If the Health Department were to find the Milken Mart or Vicki’s Lunchbox maintaining unsanitary conditions, both would be closed down, as one inspection affects the other.
Mr. Reggie Rios, operations manager, believes that these inspections are beneficial to the school.
“This is a good thing, as we – the school – want to make sure we are in compliance with all the city and state health codes. I am very comfortable with visits from the Health Department as we are doing a lot to make sure we are in compliance with them.”
Volunteers and workers are noting a change in the way that the facilities must be maintained with the upcoming inspections.
“If we treated the Milken Mart like it was our home, there wouldn’t be any issues,” Dubow said.