Students have recently noticed some issues in the dining hall with long lines, food quality and moldy products.
Sodexo responded to the complaints in an interview with Sodexo’s General Manager, Daniel VanAvery.
As seen on social media platforms such as the SNHU Barstool Instagram, students have reported receiving moldy bread, salad with plastic in it, uncooked steak, uncooked chicken, and rubber bands around broccoli.
“It was a mistake. I think we got it all squared away. For a week it happened regularly,” said VanAvery when asked about the moldy bread.
VanAvery explained that some deliveries were marked with the wrong dates when shipped at the beginning of the semester.
The Sodexo team uses the same method of putting out food as grocery stores do; food expiring sooner goes to the front and food expiring later goes to the back. Thinking the bread was only one day old, as it was labeled, it was brought to the front. In reality it was three days old and was served to some students.
VanAvery also commented when asked about students finding rubber bands around their stalks of vegetables. He said Sodexo struggled with staffing throughout the pandemic and his staff is “working back-to-back shifts” and putting in long hours at the dining hall, so a couple meals were missed in production and served to students.
Longer lines have also been a problem in the dining hall, even longer than in previous years on campus. When asked about the matter VanAvery said, “70 percent of their staff is new….We had 50 job openings, staff retired and then the pandemic happened.” Sodexo staff is working long shifts to get through the nearly 30,000 transactions in just a week.
With new staff needing to be trained and other staff needing to be in different areas in the kitchen, the lines got longer. Staff shortages and delivery issues caused a stir in the dining hall since returning to campus.
“It was a mistake….It’s not okay. At no point is it okay and…of course, it’s not [Sodexo’s] standard. Our goal is always to serve the best food. Good food every day,” said VanAvery.
While VanAvery stated that the staff had gotten it “squared away,” and that this issue was purely due to suppliers and mislabeled food, the image attached to this article was taken in late September, after the supply issue had been dealt with.