College paper pilfered after reporting on food safety, sanitation

About 650 copies of The Unfiltered Lens, a student paper at the Community College of Rhode Island, have been reported stolen, prompting speculation the thefts may be a response to Lens reports on campus cockroach sightings and food safety violations.

College Media Matters reports the front-page features two items: an article on cockroaches (“Roaches storm CCRI Knight Campus”) and a feature on the health inspection troubles of a CCRI campus café. The cafe has apparently been flagged for improper food storage, employee “hand washing infractions,” and the absence of “an air gap, a necessary feature to separate the sink workspace from the sewage system.”

Noting that other publications distributed on campus were noticeably still stacked like normal in their newsstands, the paper’s editor-in-chief Robert Armistead said “it leads me to believe that it is something specific with our newspaper, and more specifically with this issue.”

Rhode Island has been sensitized to food safety issues on the one-year anniversary of the DeFusco’s Bakery salmonella outbreak killed two and sickened 75 people. Four new health inspectors for the state have been hired.

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About Douglas Powell

A former professor of food safety and the publisher of, Powell is passionate about food, has five daughters, and is an OK goaltender in pickup hockey. Download Doug’s CV here. Dr. Douglas Powell editor, retired professor, food safety 3/289 Annerley Rd Annerley, Queensland 4103 61478222221 I am based in Brisbane, Australia, 15 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time