Confusion over a complex recall issue that occurred when Dining Services employees pulled peanut butter sandwich crackers off the shelves of Bistro Burnett caused Sodexo Inc. to re-evaluate its approach for stocking campus dining locations, a company official said Monday.
Monica Zimmer, director of public relations for the university’s food service provider, wrote in an e-mail that Dining Services and Sodexo implemented a new three-step checklist to prevent recalled products from being stocked at campus eateries.
The recent recall issue is the most complex one Sodexo has dealt with, she wrote.
The new precautions arose after the Austin brand peanut butter sandwich crackers that had been previously recalled were found on the shelves in Bistro Burnett.
“Nearly 2,000 products have been recalled across several different product types, including cookies, cakes, pies, ice cream, crackers and peanut butter,” she wrote.
The new process involves taking inventory of all peanut-related products, cross-checking those products with the recall list and food safety alerts, and signing off, with signatures from three managers, that the items are safe to stock, Zimmer wrote.
Sodexo’s food safety experts have also spoken with Dining Services’ management team to review the recall and alert process, Zimmer wrote.
“Sodexo employees at TCU are required by law to be notified by our distributors and suppliers of all recalls and product withdrawals,” she wrote. “The alerts are issued by the corporate quality assurance department whenever Sodexo operations may be affected by a recall.”
This recall situation is particularly complex because, since the original recall, many new items have been added to the list, Zimmer wrote.
“Sodexo will continue to monitor the situation in conjunction with our suppliers and the regulatory agencies involved,” she wrote.
Rick Flores, general manager for Dining Services and Ev Barnes, operations director for retail for Dining Services, did not respond to calls Monday requesting comment.