Is Western Food Services putting in the effort?

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Re: “Salmonella cases up to 72 confirmed”
Nov. 23, 2007

To the editor:
I have eaten on campus as well as in residence, and I am quite impressed with the level of sanitation that goes on behind the scenes. I don’t even have to be back there to know Food Services’ sanitation policies are hard at work (even though I’ve seen how clean it is). All you have to do is take a good look at the hard-working individuals who feed thousands of students each week.

As with every food operation, there is always a risk of contamination. While measures are taken to prevent this " and Western is pretty strict " it is bound to happen eventually.

It’s not like someone purposely spread the salmonella bacteria around Pita Pit. A mistake was made or something was overlooked, which turned into a major problem.

Yes, people were made sick and suffered discomfort, but before criticizing the first salmonella outbreak in 25 years, try looking around your own house for sanitation problems.

Try taking this as a call for everyone to better manage the way they prepare food. Remember that food poisoning and bacteria are issues everyone must be aware of, not just Food Services.

Also, there is absolutely no need to blame our health inspectors. Those individuals regularly visit all Food Service operations to ensure our strict government guidelines are met to ensure the safety of the public. Surely, you cannot expect an inspector to be stationed at every establishment all of the time.

Western is handling this situation in the best possible way, and I commend its efforts. You can’t turn back the clock. For being such a large university, Food Services is doing a good job satisfying our nutritional needs.
"Mark Lepore

To the editor:
I was shocked and dismayed at Susan Grindrod’s comments regarding food safety on campus. To quote Grindrod: “[Food Services serves] 30,000 people per week, and while it’s nice to have sanitary practices, there’s no 150 per cent guarantee.”

As a former cook, I must ask: is she kidding? First of all, having sanitary practices at a public food service establishment isn’t supposed to be “nice” " it’s supposed to be mandatory. After all, it is the law to ensure the food you prepare and serve is not contaminated.

If a regular restaurant had such a contamination with so many confirmed cases, they would not only face closure, but I’m sure such a restaurant would face a number of lawsuits.

The high level of traffic through Food Services is no excuse to become lax on sanitary practices; instead, the opposite should be true! Perhaps Grindrod did not intend her comment to be as flippant as it appears, but it still shows a disturbing lack of concern for the situation.

The fact that Western’s Food Services provides food for 30,000 people a week is all the more reason for sanitary practices to be strictly adhered to, highly regulated and closely monitored.

Furthermore, standards should be higher than minimal code based on the fact it serves more people than a regular chain restaurant.
"Susan Varills
Music IV

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