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. Rats, roaches, mice, flies found in hundreds of NYC school cafeterias
Health inspectors discovered roaches, mice, rats and flies in nearly 400 New York City public school cafeterias over the last three years, recently released city Health Department data shows. The violations include 1,072 violations deemed critical—conditions most likely to cause foodborne illnesses—in at least 620 different public schools, including several fly species that breed in garbage or feces in more than 100 schools, mice or evidence of mice found in more than 300 school cafeterias and live cockroaches found in 80 school cafeterias.
2. College and school engage artists to liven up their cafeteria walls
The walls of the Mabee-Gwinup Cafeteria at Williams Baptist University (WBU) in Arkansas were turned into an open canvas for the school's art students after Director of Dining Services Jenny Young contacted WBU art professor Dr. Sandy Baltz, asking if her art students could use their talents to decorate the walls of the dining area with sports and academic themes. The students and Dr. Baltz worked with Young to produce a design that included silhouettes of all the sports that are offered at WBU along with the school’s sports logo.
The idea of a custom artistic decoration of a cafeteria was also recently used by Roosevelt High School in Los Angeles, which approached Chicano artist Omar G. Ramírez to create a mural for the cafeteria wall meant to get young people to think critically about their food. The mural, more than 30 feet long, depicts the history of elotl—Nahuatl for corn—and was inspired by the disconnect between the mostly Latino student body and their ancestral foodways.
3. Hospital plans to double the size of its cafeteria as part of modernization program
UNC Health Caldwell in North Carolina has announced the final piece of the hospital’s $33 million upcoming expansion in which the Blue Ridge Energy Cafeteria will almost double in size from 4,200 to 7,400 sq.ft. and will include the 1,600 sq.ft. McCreary Modern Indoor Dining area and Ferguson Family Foundation outdoor seating area. The current kitchen was built in the 1950’s and a significant expansion and modernization is needed, the hospital says.
4. College deals with extended dining worker strike
For the nearly 500 students who reside on campus at Whittier College in California, meal options were limited after the private school’s dining hall workers entered their sixth day of a walkout on Saturday, April 1. Meanwhile, student organizations scrambled to provide food services for students via pizza and food truck offerings and advocates also encouraged students to submit a form to the college asking for reimbursement for meal plan allotments.
5. Food inflation also hitting ballpark concessions
Those peanuts and Cracker Jacks may soon cost you more at the ballpark, thanks in part to food inflation, CEO Belinda Oakley of major concessions firm Sodexo Live told CNBC. To deal with the issue, the company is changing some ingredients, mixing up its suppliers, and sourcing more items locally to help reduce costs and avoid passing along 100% of the price increases to the consumer, Oakley said. In addition, at T-Mobile Park in Seattle, Sodexo Live is expanding the number of value menu items priced between $2 and $4 to a dozen up from seven last year.
Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]