Students question cleanliness of eateries

By Jana Fagotti
October 23, 2003

Toccara Buckley

“Cleanliness? HA! The tables are a mess. It’s pathetic,” Jeff Foley, a sophomore business administration major, said. “I don’t think that it is very clean, there is always food everywhere,” junior elementary/special education major Maggie Cassidy said. “I notice that a lot of times I’ll have chicken for lunch and then I go to dinner and it’s chicken with barbecue sauce on it they reuse the food which really makes me not wanna eat it,” junior English/communications major Mary Adam said.

These are frequent statements associated with the Cabrini dining hall. But, before making another remark, “get the facts,” Mike Antolini, the general manger of the Cabrini Dining Service, said.

Antolini began at Cabrini in May of 2003 when Sodexho became Cabrini’s primary food service. However, Sodexho thought it was a good idea not to integrate WOOD into Sodexho until this year, as WOOD begins to phase out. “We’d like to be called Cabrini Dining Service,” Antolini said.

Cabrini Dining Service has 40 workers for about 800 students. Approximately 20 employees work in the cafeteria.

Cabrini has three chefs aside from Head Chef Rodney Stocket. “You’re looking for somebody who may have gone to the restaurant school, may have taken culinary courses, or sometimes that doesn’t matter if you’ve got somebody who grew up in the industry,” Antolini said.

The only people involved in the food preparation process are the cooks themselves. Antolini said, “The chef will do an inventory by looking at what they have and deciding how far that will go and then you want to supplement that for the next couple of days.”

Antolini said that an order is placed with Sysco, a company that provides Cabrini Dining Service with the bulk of the products. Meats and frozen meats are delivered Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Produce and bread is delivered daily. Milk is delivered every other day. Dry goods and frozen dry goods are delivered on a need basis.

When food is received it is taken by a receiver and put on a shelf, put in the refrigerator, freezer or in the store room. The cook who is responsible. Antolini said, “It is their responsibility to take them out, put them away and if they can’t be used, to throw them out.”

The dependency of electricity and refrigeration on a normal operation day is imperative. Antolini said that food temperatures are maintained very well. “Your deli bar and salad bar has plastic containers and that is a very decent conductor so that will keep [the food] very cold,” Antolini said.

During each meal period the workers refill the meats, cheeses and produce as well as replenish the dishes. If leftover food remains and it not used within 24 hours it is thrown out.

“The workers usually do a good job of keeping the actual food area clean,” Foley said.

The problem comes in when appliances such as the dishwasher go down. The dining service has already experienced one incident this year when it was not able to be fixed for two days and the dining service had to resort to plastic ware.

Antolini admits that he dislikes having to resort to plastic as much as the students dislike eating from it. “It costs more money to use plastic. You lose productivity because you use plastic,” Antolini said.

As far as clean-up, housekeeping does the floors. “Our employees clean up after the students,” Antolini said.

“I think, for the most part, the employees do a great job of keeping it clean,” Adam said.

Antolini questions the students’ responsibilities. “How do you get students to take up their responsibilities, how much food they put on a plate and how much they throw out? There’s a waste issue from the consumption,” Antolini said.

“My issues are minor in that I would like to see a little more responsibility on the students’– to take up their plates, dump their trays. It just makes things easier for the dining services,” Antolini said.

Not all students have a negative outlook on the dining services. Junior Megan Beauduy, an education major thinks that the food is much better then in years past. “They are doing their best to try and accommodate everyone’s requests,” Beauduy said. Adam also sees some positive changes. “They’ve improved the variety at lunch time a little bit compared to last year,” she said.

Posted to the Web by: Toccara Buckley

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Jana Fagotti

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