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TOLEDO, Ohio — The night of April 12 was not a pleasant one for Cory Thomas, a University of Toledo freshman. The freshman had enjoyed a meal at the student union dining hall just hours before he began to feel sick.
“Vomiting, nausea, stuff like that,” Thomas said. “It was rough.”
This was now the third time in two months Thomas had felt this way after eating at the union dining hall, so this time he decided to go to the hospital.
“The doctor there had diagnosed me with norovirus, which is a food poisoning. And that’s kind of when I was kind of like, oh there’s something wrong going on,” Thomas said.
Thomas said he thought it was an isolated incident until it was revealed that five days before he got sick, the student union dining hall had been hit with critical health code violations from the county health department. These include unwashed hands and food stored at dangerous temperatures, all of which the CDC lists as key causes of food poisoning.
“I feel like if we’re paying that much money, they shouldn’t really have the problems in the dining halls that they have. You know, the major critical marks from the inspection and stuff like that,” Thomas said.
WTOL 11 reached out to a spokesperson with University of Toledo on the matter, who said there is no record of this incident. The spokesperson said that if students encounter issues, they need to contact the university’s dining services so a registered dietician can investigate.
“Our full-time registered dietician is responsible for investigating any food safety concerns that are brought to our attention. Claims that we have not or do not address concerns are not true. We continue to work collaboratively with the health department to resolve recent issues and provide the high level of quality, safety, and service our customers expect,” wrote Christine Billau, the deputy director of communications for the University of Toledo.
Meanwhile, Thomas said following his sickness and the doctor’s diagnosis, he’s been hesitant to eat at the dining hall again.
“It’s nerve-wracking. Last week after I got sick, I actually have been eating just one meal a day, because that’s the one safe place on campus,” said Thomas.
Thomas wants the health department to shutdown the dining halls until the issues are taken care of. The university says it’s working with the health department to resolve the problems.
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