FACT meeting allows students to voice dining concerns

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Asem Abdelfattah

Assistant News Editor

Although only eight students showed, they were able to present concerns about campus dining at the Food Advisory Council of Troy meeting last Thursday.

During the meeting, students presented concerns about food quality issues and presented ideas for more retail locations as well as a microwave station in the Trojan Center.

Elizabeth Eaise, field marketing coordinator at Sodexo, started the meeting by giving a brief update on Trojan Dining efforts based on the last FACT meeting.

“We are listening,” said Eaise. “We have hosted multiple foodie events like ‘A Week of Sampling’, ‘Kalamata’ for a healthy and fresh event, we celebrated National Hot Chocolate Day, Valentine’s Day, Lunar New Year and other occasions.

“We also started offering breakfast for dinner again, chicken tenders and nuggets more often, and more diverse options at Magellan’s,” Eaise said.

Eaise said there were other enhancements which were made to better the dining experience.

“We refreshed the salad bar and soup containers and fruit baskets,” Eaise said. “We also expanded our offerings like more fruit infused water, a nacho bar, gluten free deserts, yogurt and hummus during lunch and two vegetarian pizza options.”

Ibrahim Yildirim, General Manager at Sodexo, encouraged students to explore the options and enhancements that are added every day.

“Most students come into the dining hall walk straight to ‘Flying Star’,” Yildirim said. “I wish they can walk around more to notice what we add every day and give us feedback or suggestions about those additions.

Yildirim also addressed a concern regarding a raw chicken nugget served at Chick-Fil-A.

“We launched an investigation and concluded that the Chick-Fil-A raw chicken issue was that of a bad batch of chicken,” Yildirim said. “We are currently working with Chick-Fil-A and retraining all employees to ensure that this never happens again.

“As for Trojan Dining, all meats are cooked and checked before they are served.”

When asked about adding microwaves for students to use at the Trojan Center, Yildirim said it was “easy” to do that, but his concern was about “keeping the microwaves sanitary.”

Yildirim and Anne Rankin, District Manager at Sodexo, both said they would “consider” adding food trucks on campus for students who need a faster way to get food in between classes.

Rankin said Sodexo tries to stay up-to-date and connected to students’ suggestions and concerns about food and dining.

“Students are now more astute to food because of social media and have higher expectations,” Rankin said. “We try to stay up with the times and keep the highest percentage of students happy.

“We will continue to improve and work with students on their dining experience,” Rankin said.

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