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5 things: LAUSD cafeteria and other support workers set to strike

This and a viral video showing high school kids putting together a lunch buffet in the cafeteria using using items they brought in are some of the stories you may have missed recently.

In this edition of 5 Things, Food Management highlights five things you may have missed recently about developments affecting onsite dining.

Here’s your list for today:

1.    LAUSD cafeteria and other support workers set to strike

Cafeteria staff, bus drivers, custodians, teachers' assistants and other members of the SEIU Local 99—Education Workers United—have voted to approve a strike March 21-23 after nearly a year of negotiating with the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), setting up what could be a shutdown of the nation's second-largest school system. United Teachers Los Angeles, which represents about 35,000 educators in the district, said it will honor the strike and not cross picket lines, the school workers union said in a news release.

Read more: Los Angeles school workers union announces plan for 3-day strike that could shut down the nation's second-largest district

2.    High school students go viral with lunch buffet TikTok video

 A video showing high school students creating a "potluck buffet" by combining different food items the participants brought has gone viral on the popular social media platform TikTok, racking up more than 111,000 views. The 11-second clip shows the various ingredients brought to the buffet held in the school's cafeteria, including a bag of bread, paper plates, a bottle of soda, a case of Dr. Pepper cans, packages of deli meat, tomatoes, cutlery, cheese slices, a box of Chips Ahoy cookies, a jar of mayonnaise and a bottle of mustard.

Read moreHigh School Students Go Viral for Creating Giant Potluck Buffett in School Cafeteria

3.    Penn to renovate dining center following health inspection issues

The 1920 Commons at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) will close for renovations this summer amid efforts by Penn Dining to address repeated issues raised by recent health inspections. The closure is a part of Penn’s Capital Plan for fiscal year 2023 under which the Commons renovations would encompass the second and third floors of the facility and cost $10 million this fiscal year and $55 million in total through fiscal year 2024.

Read more: Penn plans 1920 Commons renovations this summer amid dining hall health code violations

4.    Twins expand popular value priced concessions program

Major League Baseball's Minnesota Twins and its beverage and retail partner Delaware North have announced the opening of a third "Family Value" concession stand at Target Field, expanding a popular program first introduced in 2019. All three stands are touted to feature value-based, family-friendly pricing for popular food items, along with self-serve, touchscreen kiosks to expedite the ordering and purchasing process. Also, for the first time this season, standard concessions throughout Target Field will feature unlimited fountain soda refills with the purchase of a 32-ounce souvenir cup.

Read more: Minnesota Twins expand ‘Family Value’ concessions stands with reduced prices

5.     Belgian hospital’s patient food wins prestigious culinary accolade

While hospital food just about anywhere in the world generally suffers from a reputation for mediocrity, AZ Groeninge hospital in western Belgium has broken the stereotype by winning approval from prestigious French restaurant guide Gault & Millau for the quality of the food it serves to its patients. The hospital brought in Gault & Millau experts to inspect their food and offer advice for improvement, notably for their fish dishes, their sauces and their potato servings, and the guide subsequently determined that the hospital's food was of a high standard, with Marc Declerck, chief executive of Gault & Millau Benelux, saying he would be happy to serve up some of its dishes in his own home.

Read more: Belgian hospital food earns restaurant guide accolade

Bonus: 22 iconic steakhouse classics and new classics

Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]

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