The Disciples on Campus (DOC) group does not have a health permit from the City of Fort Worth Consumer Health Division to conduct their weekly “Peanut Butter and Jelly Mondays” event, said Elmer DePaula, consumer health superintendent for the City of Fort Worth.
A city health inspector previously halted the event in 2009, telling students they needed a health permit to continue to distribute food, according to a statement from the Consumer Health Division of the Code Compliance Department.
DePaula said the open containers of peanut butter and jelly are a problem because bugs are attracted to them.
“Any time a food is open, a container is open, there’s just going to be a possibility of insects or anything getting into the food,” he said.
DOC provides hand sanitizer for students to use, but DePaula said this is not acceptable because it cannot replace hand washing.
According to the Code Compliance Temporary Food Establishment Guide, “Soap, paper towels and a container (five gallon minimum) with a spigot that remains open freeing both hands to be scrubbed together shall be provided for hand washing.”
Olivia See, Disciples of Christ campus minister, said the group takes precautions to ensure student safety, such as having one student obtain a food handler permit.
“We really make sure that when we put things out there that there’s enough utensils,” she said, “and that the students are doing the sandwiches for themselves so we’re not actually touching anything that they’re eating.”
See said DOC hosts “Peanut Butter and Jelly Mondays” because it can be hard for students to grab lunch due to their busy class schedules.
“We try to find a way to serve the students and be able to give them lunch and brighten their week of just knowing that they don’t have to worry about that on Mondays,” she said.
Dillon Burns, a senior mechanical engineering major, said “Peanut Butter and Jelly Mondays” come in handy given his busy schedule.
“It’s convenient both because I’m poor, and because, I mean, I’m in class right here so it’s easy to step out and step back in,” he said.
Andrew O’Brien, a sophomore math and economics double major, said he was attracted to the weekly event by the variety of possible sandwiches.
“I love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and peanut butter honey sandwiches and all delicious sandwiches,” O’Brien said. “It’s a great time in terms of being close to where my classes are because I’m in between classes.”
O’Brien said he is not concerned about any potential health risks because he trusts the students in charge.
“It’s just an occupational hazard I guess of being a student with getting access to free food,” he said.