Since Monday, Sept. 14, a photo that shows what many students have thought was a rat in the food provided at the Trojan Dining Hall has been circulating among the Troy student body through various social media.
According to the Sodexo-run Trojan Dining Services, what was assumed to be a rodent by students was only an untrimmed piece of roast beef fat that was accidentally served to a student.
The photo, shot on Snapchat, shows the hand of an individual holding a piece of fat with the caption “Beware of the saga roast beef.”
“I saw the picture yesterday, and I was like, it can’t be one,” said Bianca Miller, a freshman Spanish major from Trussville. “But then like I looked at it and it really, really looks like a rat tail, because it’s all skooshy and gray, like a rat tail.”
Miller said that it did not look like a cut of meat to her.
After reviewing security camera footage, Sodexo and the university administration confirmed that what the photo depicts was in fact not a rat.
“I have viewed the video from the Dining Hall, and it clearly shows that what the student was holding up was not a rodent,” said Herbert Reeves, dean of student services.
“The video shows that the student took a piece of grizzle and fat from his plate and held it up for the others to photograph,” he said. “The young man holding the grizzle up licked his fingers after he put it back on the plate and continued to eat off the plate. I would think that if there was some type of rodent on his plate, he would not have done that.”
According to Ibrahim Yildirim, general manager of Trojan Dining Services, in the process of preparing the roast beef meal, the fat is left on the meat while it is cooked in order to protect the meat from drying. After it is done cooking, the fat is trimmed off, and the meat is sliced off and served.
“Somehow, someway, part of the fat was still attached to it, and then it just happened to be served to this student,” he said.
According to Sheetal Nangia, marketing manager for Trojan Dining Services, Sodexo is investigating how the mistake happened.
“That shouldn’t have been there, obviously,” she said. “Somebody forgot to cut the fat, and we are looking into that.”
Yildirim said that when he first saw the photo himself, he knew that the piece was only fat because he recognized the large artery.
“Regardless of what it is or it is not, it looks bad,” said Briana Brown, a freshman biomedical sciences major from Jay, Florida.
Yildirim and Nangia encouraged students to come straight to the Trojan Dining administration when they encounter problems with their services.
Nangia said that usually when dining services receives a student complaint, the upper management hears about it within 10 minutes.
However, this particular incident took 10 hours to reach their ears since it was only publicized through social media.
“We want you to call us the minute it happens because we are here to serve the students,” she said. “Supervisors and managers are always walking around. Contact us as soon as possible if you need to.”
Yildirim can be contacted at Ibrahim.Yildirim@sodexo.com and Nangia can be reached at Sheetal.Nangia@sodexo.com.
Reeves informed the Tropolitan that the administration will certainly be speaking to the students involved regarding the incident.