Sodexo Food and Health is Satisfactory
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February 9, 2017
The Le Moyne dining hall has never been known for it’s five star dining experience. However, most students still expect certain standards to ensure that the food is safe and enjoyable to consume.
Sodexo as a company was recently reviewed by researcher DeeAnne Oldham for Isitbadforyou.com and received an F rating. The review was approved by certified nutritionist Dr. Becky Maes.
The Sodexo evaluation states, “Sodexo is not healthy. They are a mass produced food service company with great marketing. The food may sound healthy, but it is heavily processed and high in carbohydrates, fat, and chemicals.” It even cites the 2013 controversy surrounding the recall of all Sodexo frozen beef products in the UK, which were recalled because of horse DNA found in a sample of beef.
Sodexo supplies food to over 850 university in over 80 different countries, including Le Moyne and while Sodexo may have received a terrible grade from Isitbadforyou.com, an organization committed to education people to live healthier lifestyles through “trustworthy and easy-to-digest information, the 2015 and 2016 inspection for Sodexo at Le Moyne resulted in satisfactory scores. They have yet to be inspected in 2017 [at least not prior to an April 6th interview with LaCasse Dining Center manager Jim Suriano].
Suriano explained that Sodexo is now audited on a more regular basis by an independant group, and that general monitoring of the food services has increased in an effort to maintain optimum safety conditions. The independent group conducts monthly reviews which have resulted in small changes, such as moving food items to different places in the dining hall to increase overall sanitation.
Regardless of the satisfactory scores and increased efforts of maintaining sanitation, student complaints still remain when it comes to certain aspects of the Dining Center. For instance, some students occasionally feel that the meat served, particularly the beef, is not fully cooked. Students have also encountered dishes and silverware that appear to still have food residue even though they have been previously washed.
In response, Suriano stated that he had not been aware of the complaints, however, he maintained that Sodexo would work to monitor the overall safety of the dining center more closely. According to Suriano, the temperature of the meat is set to insure that it is cooked. He recognizes that it may not be cooked in the way that some students like it to be, as Sodexo has tried to find a good balance in serving to a variety of students.
As for the dirty dishes, Suriano explained that the dishes are sent through a high temperature sanitizing machine two times to ensure they are completely cleaned. The dishes may stick together in the machine, causing the occasional dish to retain some spots. Sodexo plans to monitor this, as well as other aspects in the dining center. The Dining Hall manager says Sodexo is working hard to maintain and improve upon the sanitation and food and health safety that is present in the dining hall to ensure that all Le Moyne students have a pleasurable dining experience.
In 2014, Sodexo did not meet health and safety expectations, receiving an unsatisfactory score on the annual food and health inspection by the Onondaga Department of Health. According to a 2014 Dolphin article written by Gabrielle Zumpano ‘16, the score was due to “violations that were temperature related, while some were facility issues.” The article goes on to illuminate that these issues included “chemicals being stored next to the salad bar gloves, condiments at the self-serve breakfast bar noted at 60 degrees, and puddings at the salad bar not being refrigerated.” Other hazards were that the yogurt was stored at too high of a temperature and the fruit was not stored in a sanitary spot.
Sodexo responded by fixing the mentioned violations, such as venting and lowering the yogurt cabinet and placing fruit under a sneeze guard, while also supplying tongs to increase sanitation. According to Suriano, the staff immediately corrected the violations and gained a satisfactory score when the health department re-evaluated the dining facility 30 days after.