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5 things: Listeria shuts cafeteria at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

This and another case of a celebrity paying down a school’s lunch debt are the things you missed for the week of December 2 in onsite foodservice.

Each Friday Food Management compiles a list that highlights five things you probably missed in the onsite foodservice news that week and why you should care about them.

Here’s your list for the week of December 2:

  1. Listeria shutters Sloan Kettering cafeteria

The cafeteria at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City was shut down in late November after testing positive for the food-borne bacteria listeria. The hospital said the kitchen was cleaned over the next several days and then retested, adding that listeria was not found in any food. The State Department of Health said it is investigating three cases of listeriosis linked to the facility. In the meantime, food for patients was provided by an outside caterer.

Read more: Cafeteria at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in NYC shut down due to listeria

  1. UMD Dining puts 500 lbs. of excess research project beans to good use

A student master’s research project at the University of Maryland to test plant yields from different soil qualities ended up producing some 500 pounds of black beans that the student researcher, Dana Rushovich, didn’t know what to do with—except she knew she didn’t want to simply toss it all away. So, she reached out to the university’s dining services department, leading to the first dining hall meals made with food grown in a student research project as three campus dining halls served a hundred pounds of the legumes during the Field to Campus special dinner on Nov. 6. An additional 50 pounds were given away at the farmers’ market a week later for a cooking demonstration on how to make bean chili. Dining services will keep the nearly 300 pounds of the remaining beans, serving it during the spring special and giving some to the campus pantry in the coming weeks.

Read more: A UMD student’s research yielded 500 pounds of beans—and a hefty gift to Dining Services

  1. NFL star pays off middle school’s lunch debt

Richard Sherman of the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers recently donated $7,491.27 to cover students' lunch debt at Cabrillo Middle School in Santa Clara, the city in which the 49ers’ home field, Levi’s Stadium, is located. Sherman's foundation—Blanket Coverage, The Richard Sherman Foundation—followed up with a letter that read…

"We have found that eliminating student lunch debt is one way to help assist students and their families in relieving some of the stress that comes with attending school on a daily basis. The last thing any child should have to worry about is being able to afford eating breakfast and lunch at school; we aim to do our part in eliminating that obstacle."

Earlier this year, Sherman’s foundation donated $20,000 to Tacoma Public Schools for meal debt, according to a news release by the NFL Players Association.

Read more: 49ers' Richard Sherman donates more than $7,000 to help eradicate a middle school's lunch debt

  1. CMU to launch ‘meal swipe bank’ next year

At the start of the spring 2020 semester, Central Michigan University (CMU) students will have access to a Swipe Bank and $1 meals. The Swipe Bank will start on Jan. 6 and will allow students with food insecurity to request swipes. Students will also be able to donate swipes throughout the semester to help their fellow students with food insecurity. The program will provide unused meals from the Down Under Food Court that will be sold Monday through Thursday at 5:30 p.m. after the food court closes.

"There will be salads and chicken, based on what was not purchased during that day," CMU President Bob Davies says. "Right now, all that food is being composted because they can't keep it."

Each meal will cost $1 to fund the cost of the program, and any of the excess funds will be used to create more food insecurity programs.

“We are going to rely on the honesty of the individuals,” Davies adds. “If someone requests, we are not going to ask questions, we’re not going to second guess, they will be given the swipes.”

Read more: Meal 'Swipe Bank' to be implemented in spring 2020

  1. A meal fit for a mom?

The Woman's Hospital of Texas in Houston decided to have some Thanksgiving fun with their newborns this year, so it dressed up its newborns as Thanksgiving dinner and sides, saying the babies at the hospital "take the saying, 'you're so cute, I could just eat you up!' to a new level."

“Our devoted nurses and care team are always looking for new, precious ways to go above and beyond for patients and make holidays extra special for them," commented Hospital CEO Elizabeth Ortega about the unusual stunt.

Read more: Woman's Hospital Of Texas Dresses Newborns As Thanksgiving Dinner And Sides

Bonus: 53 readers’ picks for best K-12 school meals

Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]

TAGS: Healthcare
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