Troy Robinson, a first-year student at SNHU, was surprised when he found mold on his “Black and Blue” from The Grille approximately three weeks ago. This is the second time Robinson found mold on this meal within the school year; however, the first time it was only on a small area of the roll.

“After I noticed it, I dissected the rest of the meal and noticed there were multiple blue spots of mold on the wheat roll,” said Robinson.

“I think the mold is only on the wheat rolls honestly.”

Robinson feels this incident was unnecessary and could have been avoided if the Sodexo worker who served him the meal had checked the inventory before serving it to students. Daniel Vanavery, the Sodexo General Manager, was able to shed some light over what causes mold to grow and the process Sodexo goes through to try and prevent incidents like this from occurring.

“We have fresh bakery that is brought in five days a week,” said Vanavery.

“The challenge with fresh bakery versus what you probably get in the grocery stores is that the shelf life is less because it’s cooked warm, it’s put in the bag moist, brought in, transported and brought here.”

Vanavery specified how when the drivers bring their stock in, they are supposed to properly rotate the supply to make sure Sodexo is getting fresh stock.

“Because it’s done daily, our old stock is brought up, rotated and inspected,” said Vanavery.

“Then, it’s taken from downstairs to upstairs and then distributed to the stations. They stock their stations. Again, it should be inspected and rotated. Should be. That’s always the key. Everything that we do comes down to human error whether it has to do with bread or anything else; it all comes down to human error.”

Wheat has a lower shelf life than most other foods. According to Vanavery, they last typically three to five days before they go bad compared to Wonder bread in a grocery store that can last for two weeks.

“We have roughly, 39,000 different loaves or packages of bread that we go through in an academic year,” said Vanavery.

“That’s 353 slices per unit. When you’re talking 350,000 pieces of bread, or bagels or English muffins, it’s going to happen. It’s inevitable.”

If a student finds mold on any of their products, Vanavery asks them to report the incident to Sodexo.

“It’s only a handful of times that it gets reported to me, and that’s the biggest thing,” said Vanavery.

“If someone reports an incident to me first thing I’ll do is I’ll credit you back or buy you lunch tomorrow, which I always do. If someone tells me the food’s not right, like any other restaurant, I’m going to refund you at minimum because we’re not perfect, but I want you to have a good experience.”

Robinson did not report his mold incident to Sodexo. Vanavery urges any other poor food experiences to get reported to him so he can help SNHU students have a better experience.

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