The university response, or lack thereof, to the discovery of recalled products being left on the shelves of Bistro Burnett is baffling and disturbing.
According to Shawn Kornegay, associate director of communications, Sodexo Inc., the university food provider, found after a full inventory that at least one package of the potentially tainted crackers were purchased. Kornegay wrote in an e-mail that she did not know the exact number of packages sold. Sodexo did not elaborate further on its inventory.
Even after finding that at least one – not only one – consumer on campus purchased the potentially harmful crackers, the university still failed to respond adequately by alerting the campus of this mishap.
Kornegay rationalized this lack of action by saying it was Sodexo’s decision on how to respond. She said Sodexo communicated individually with the person identified as purchasing a package of crackers and determined no need for response beyond that. The individual did not become ill. But it doesn’t justify the university’s decision considering the extent of damage these crackers could’ve caused.
The campus police alert students of crime in the area. The university alerts students when there are warnings of bad weather. If for some reason, the university finds out that its vendors have been selling potentially dangerous products, not only does it need to be transparent and open about the issue, it needs to alert the campus. Pushing the responsibility off to Sodexo does not cut it.
Although both Sodexo and Dining Services were at fault, the university should have a bigger interest in its students’ safety.
The students deserve to trust that they’re safe on campus because their administrators prioritize students’ protection.
Managing editor Saerom Yoo for the editorial board.