Cafeteria food put to the test

Coliform bacteria was found in a croissant from Seton Hall’s cafeteria by students conducting an experiment for a class in October.

Junior physician’s assistant major Ashlie Verano conducted a microbiology experiment titled “food and milk microbiology” with fellow classmates. The procedure of the experiment was to retrieve a food sample and test it for a total bacteria count.

Verano said the experiment resulted in the tested croissant being positive for coliform bacteria; however, she doesn’t say it is anything to worry about.

Verano and her professor, Dr. Tin-Chun Chu from the, department of biological sciences, noted that this bacterium can be found everywhere.

“That bacteria resides in much of the food we eat,” Verano said.

Chu said coliform bacterium can be found in drinking water and human feces.

Verano did not test what specific kind of coliform was located in the croissant, but if the bacteria is of the facial type, it would be classified as harmful, according to Chu.

“If there is a high presence of bacteria, there is a possibility of people getting sick from eating that food,” Verano said. She went on to say that the results were not too startling.

“I was shocked at first from the results, but honestly, it doesn’t surprise me,” Verano said.

She also said she thinks that the handling of food in the cafeteria is not what it should be. She said that she is concerned about the Pirate Express where people are constantly opening the doors to the food.

As a result, this increases the likelihood of bacteria entering the environment, according to Verano.

Verano said she and her group conducted the same experiment with a slice of store-bought bread. The test came back negative.

Verano said she puts the responsibility of food safety in the hands of the University.

“Seton Hall is responsible to a point because they have employed GDS to provide us with food to eat; however, it is hard to place a lot of blame on Seton Hall when bacteria is everywhere,” she said.

Chu suggested that the croissant could have been contaminated with bacteria from being in contact with someone’s dirty hands or an unclean knife, this may not be the direct result of GDS. He advised students to always wash their hands with warm water for at least 20 seconds.

Tyler Manzi can be reached at

Author: Staff Writer

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