The flow of students in the Trojan Dining Hall has remained steady despite students finding fat trimmings in their food two weeks ago, according to Sodexo general manager Ibrahim Yildirim.
Yildirim and Sheetal Nangia, marketing manager of Sodexo, both reaffirmed that what was rumored to be a rat was indeed only fat from roast beef trimmings that was missed while being prepped in the kitchen.
“Going forward, we actually train our employees to be sure that from all the way back from when we first trim it, all the way to when we serve it on the line, to be careful to not serve it with the fat still on it,” Yildirim said, with regards to preventing future incidents
When asked if the hoax of a rat had harmed Sodexo’s reputation, Yildirim replied, “Not at all.”
“I don’t think our reputation was harmed,” he said. “From a day-to-day basis, the students coming in and out of our main dining has not changed.”
He said that Sodexo’s main goal moving forward is to try and eliminate any further mistakes.
Yildirim acknowledged that while completely eradicating problems in their service may not be possible, Sodexo would strive to provide the best of service.
“We believe that we provide a quality service, but we are subject to make mistakes just like normal human beings,” he said.
Yildirim also said that only two students, one being SGA President Heath Barton, contacted him regarding the incident.
He requests that in the future, if a student has a concern about something in the dining hall, to contact dining services immediately instead of going straight to social media.
Dining hall services can be contacted through the Troy University app, the Dining Services app, or to Yildirim directly at Ibrahim.Yildirim@sodexo.com.
“All the napkin holders that are in Trojan Dining have this thing called ‘Rant or Rave’ that has all of our information, including email and phone numbers,” Nangia said.
Yildirim assures that the request will be handled almost immediately, and the Sodexo staff will be notified.
“As soon as they put the comment, it comes to me directly, me or her (Nangia) immediately,” he said. “If the management needs to get involved, we do. We will respond right back or call the person on the phone, asking how we can help. What would you like, we have these options?”
The students who found the fat trimmings and took the photo that circulated through the student body via social media have not been identified yet, according to Herbert Reeves, dean of student services.
The entire episode was caught on security camera footage. Reeves, members of the SGA and at least one staff member of the Tropolitan have viewed the video.
In the video, the student can be seen finding the fat trimmings in his food, putting it aside and then continuing to eat off of his plate. The student is also seen holding the fat again while a friend photographed it. The students are seen continuing to eat after that.
While the students themselves never insinuated that the subject of the photo was a rat, many students did infer that from the photo.