Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Students and parents have mixed feelings about Atlantic Dining Hall

Students and parents have expressed a multitude of emotions regarding the dining halls’ quality of food, options and sanitation.
Photo courtesy of Zion Dugan.
Friends enjoying lunch in Atlantic Dining Hall.

Since the start of the Fall 2023 semester, there has been controversy surrounding the Atlantic Dining Hall. Students have divided opinions on the food options available and the quality of sanitation, ranging from harsh criticisms to firm approval.


FAU Dining Services’ Regional District Manager Roy Platt affirms that all equipment is disinfected at the end of every shift. “A night cleaning crew is employed to thoroughly sanitize and deep clean equipment on a weekly and monthly basis,” Platt wrote in a statement.

Students shared differing perspectives on the sanitary status of the dining hall.

“It’s not the concept of the dining hall, I feel like it’s the quality of the workers. To an extent, they are carrying out the job to the maximum of their abilities, but they just can’t do it as well,” said Luke Manuel, an FAU student.

Other students shared relatively positive statements regarding the dining hall sanitation.

“I think they do a decent job of keeping everything clean,” said student Jake Cuba. 

Another student, Holly Park, said FAU Dining should have more single use products, such as disposable silverware, paper plates and cups.

Over the past month, photos and videos have surfaced on social media depicting worms in rice. However, these claims are largely unsubstantiated, Platt said.

“It is critical to note that this issue was never brought to the attention of management at the time or any other time by the student,” Platt said. “Since it was never reported, we were unable to address or even validate that this occurred.” 

This brings up the necessary protocol for reporting any and all health and safety concerns.

According to Platt, without acknowledgement of concerning finds the dining hall is rendered unable to address the issues with appropriate action.

“Any guest who believes they may be experiencing a food-related illness should always contact Florida Atlantic University Student Health Services and report it to us at [email protected],” Platt wrote.


FAU parents and students alike have shared a wide range of opinions regarding the food quality and options available in the dining hall. Some parents expressed discontent with the options in the dining hall, as well as with the transitional hours.

“My son eats the same meal day after day. He eats clean, and there are only a few options,” said parent Danielle Sawczak-DiTota.

The Atlantic Dining Hall does not advertise their transitional hours on social media or on their website, however, transitional hours are written on the door of the dining hall and on Google. 

“My kid has gone at 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m., and every single time the dining hall has not been fully open. Transitional hours should be communicated somewhere so that students can plan ahead,” said parent Lauren Killian.

Others have advocated for the dining hall, praising its food options.

“My daughter said the food is good, and anytime I have eaten there I found it to be good with lots of choices,” said parent Mark Barrett. He acknowledges that as a food-lover, he wishes it were better, but it is “sufficient.”

There have also been many claims from students and parents about the chicken being undercooked. FAU Dining addressed these claims, asserting that all chefs follow strict temperature guidelines.

“All of our chicken is cooked to 180 degrees or more, which is higher than USDA recommendations,” Platt wrote. “Chicken can be fully cooked and show pink for a variety of reasons, as stated by the USDA:  The USDA says that as long as all parts of the chicken have reached a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees [Fahrenheit], it is safe to eat. Color does not indicate doneness.”

Though there have been numerous complaints surrounding the dining hall, there is generally an appreciation for this campus establishment. Many students note that the dining hall is not perfect, but nonetheless, they enjoy eating there and appreciate the specials and menu cycle– which change every four weeks, according to Platt. 

“In addition, we offer weekly specials, themed meals, interactive teaching kitchens, and special events regularly,” Platt added.

Multiple parents and students have also expressed admiration for dining hall employee Ms. Pearl, who has showcased a love for FAU students and is committed to making the dining hall an enjoyable experience every time.

Amira Kattaria is a contributing writer for the University Press. For more information on this story or others, contact her at [email protected] 

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