Health department investigates after several Oglethorpe University students get sick

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — The DeKalb County Health Department is investigating after several students complained about getting sick from eating at Oglethorpe University’s dining hall.

The students started a petition asking for improvements in how university workers handle the food in the dining hall after at least two dozen students said they got sick.

The Health Department was called in to look into the complaints. The department believes the illnesses were something that spread person to person. The department said, despite student concerns, there was no indication of a foodborne outbreak.

However, students said the only dining hall on campus has undercooked and dated food.

"I have personally picked up rotting pears from the front of the cafeteria," student Zachary Freeman said.

"A lot of my friends have gotten sick. A lot of people have been hospitalized for days, had to go to several GI visits," student Julia Preston said.


Students told Channel 2 Action News they want a new food service company to take over the dining hall.

Channel 2's Carol Sbarge reached out to Oglethorpe University about the students' concerns.

The university sent a detailed email response. They said the food service company that runs the dining hall, Aramark, has made a number of changes, including training their workers and adding extra management for the rest of the semester.

Oglethorpe said in response to the students' concerns: "We immediately held a students open forum on February 18 to hear their concerns. As a result, our Student Government Association has formed a student dining task force."

The current company said it will review the food production process with a focus on quality assurance, fresh products and better flavors.

Some students said it's time for a more drastic change and that the university needs to provide a new food service company.

Sbarge looked up recent health inspections for the dining hall. In the most recent inspection, the dining hall received a score of 84 out of 100.