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    Unlimited Food, Dirty Dishes

    As a first year Clemson student, I was forced to purchase an unlimited meal plan for both the fall and spring semesters of this year. The food isn’t the best, but that is not the focus of this article. For an establishment in the food and beverage industry, supplying clean dishes is a necessity regardless of circumstances, the resources required and the people being served by the establishment. Clemson’s dining facilities do not meet this requirement. 
    Harcombe Dining Hall’s dishes are not perfect, but they appear to be the stuff of gods when compared to those of Schilletter Dining Hall; most of the dishes in Harcombe are still white while those in Schilletter come in a variety of brown and yellow hues. More often than not, Schilletter does not supply clean dishes, and when it does, it almost always does not supply enough for the entirety of its patrons. I am not a germaphobe, clean-freak, or anything close to either, but Clemson’s dining halls don’t just serve me.
    Most of the time, I just scrape off the crusty residue and leftover food from my dishes and move on, but the fact that I don’t mind is irrelevant; it’s disgusting that anyone would ever have to do that. Once there were seven bowls left in one of the dish areas, and none of them were usable, even by me (this means residue too caked on to scrape off or an appearance that turned me away from trying). I continued to look in another area, but got discouraged about another five bowls in and decided that a plate would be just fine for yogurt. Not being able to find a reasonably clean bowl is unacceptable. 
    When the dishes at an establishment don’t even appear clean, it begs the question of how effectively germs are being removed from them. It’s easy to scrape a dish clean, and the current dishwashing technique used in Schilletter can’t even accomplish that. But the removal of germs – bacteria and viruses – requires water of a high temperature and or the use of certain chemical products. Aside from the difference in required effort of these two steps, according to the National Food Service Management Institute, dishes cannot be properly sanitized nor disinfected until they are properly cleaned. So even if hot enough water and or the right chemicals are used, as long as the dishes are not sufficiently cleaned, there could still be germs; and that is only if the dishes are being sanitized and disinfected, which is a generous presumption. 
    To supply patrons with filthy dishes is terrible by itself; to simultaneously require those patrons to purchase unlimited meal plans just makes it that much worse. While Schilletter’s current state of dish cleanliness is abysmal, Harcombe could improve as well (I have not been to Clemson House’s dining hall, so I cannot speak on its dishes’ cleanliness). This is a simple problem with a simple solution: clean the dishes.  

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