EDITORIAL: Student complaints reveal unsettling dining conditions

By EDITORIAL BOARD
On October 16, 2016

A moth found in a student's salad at the Fresh Food Company dining hall at USF. SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE

Recent complaints from students toward the Fresh Food Company dining hall on campus have uncovered some unsettling possibilities at USF.

According to multiple students, the dining hall has been serving small portions, failing to properly clean cutlery and inedible objects have been found in the food.

While the complaints have not been investigated to our knowledge, several students have photos evidencing many of what must be health code violations. 

If the allegations prove true, it will call into question the priority USF places on its students’ wellbeing. One student said she found a moth in her salad, another a contact lens attached to a grape. 

Forks covered in what one student described as a vomit-like substance along with other cutlery encrusted with bits of dried food have made the dining experience unpleasant for many students on campus.

“Another unsettling experience I’ve had at Fresh was when they were serving some sort of prison-like mystery meat,” Emily Hickman, a freshman majoring in civil engineering, said. “I asked the man serving it ‘What is in this meat sauce?’ I was told ‘beef, turkey and pork.’ 

“The next man (in line after me) asked ‘Is there pork in this? I cannot eat pork because of my religion’ and was told that there was no pork in it, seconds after (the worker told) me otherwise.”

Lack of accountability for the contents of food is unacceptable. If USF is allowing companies to feed students mystery meat, one can only imagine what other mysteries the university is withholding from students.

Any accusations regarding health violations are not ones that can be ignored. Aramark, the company providing the food for USF Dining, told the Oracle in an email that student health and safety are the company’s top priority.

However, despite requests by The Oracle’s staff, the company refused to be interviewed. 

Interestingly, the dining hall underwent a routine inspection by the Florida Department of Health in the beginning of September and no violations were found. 

One has to wonder where the disconnect is between investigators’ inspection checklists and students’ plates. Any other restaurant fielding complaints of insect-ridden food would be shut down. 

Hopefully, further investigation will find there are no threats to students’ health. However, if the complaints from students continue, USF may find itself in hot water. 

Someone needs to draw the line.

 

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