By Caitlin Soard
The premade items in Sodexo may seem like they stay out for longer than they should, but according to Food Services Director Les Petroff, this is not true.
Items that are kept cool, such as the food in the salad bar, can stay out all day since the cooler is kept below 38 degrees, Petroff said.
According to the Food and Drug Administration, foods can be left out at room temperature for two hours without being cooled, and as long as they are kept cooled at less than 40 degrees, are safe to eat.
Whole fruit remains left out until it has gone bad and is supposed to be rotated on a first in, first out basis so that the oldest fruits are taken first before they spoil. However, The Franklin reporters have observed employees not following this method, resulting in spoiled fruit.
Petroff said he usually tries to go pull bad fruit out of the bins.
“It shouldn’t be just dumped,” Petroff said.
Perishable items such as pizza and premade sandwiches are not supposed to be left out for more than 30 minutes, according to Petroff. Pizza station employees are supposed to track how long a pizza has been out, and toss the remaining slices after time limits are up.
Petroff said Sodexo tracks the amount of waste they produce in order to better prepare for upcoming meal times, but that waste is unavoidable.
“During lunch and dinner it’s never really an issue… And usually they’ll have a small box on the floor and they’re throwing slices away,” Petroff said. “And I hate to see waste, but when you’ve got that all day feeding, you can’t help it.”
In order to cut back on waste and keep specialty sandwiches in the deli line from spoiling, Petroff said employees have been making them to order rather than making premade sandwiches at the start of a meal period.
Sophomore Wanda Gaines said she thinks Sodexo leaves food out for too long.
“They seem to put it out and leave it out all day until someone comes to get it. I mean, I get not wasting food, but the quality just continually goes down the longer you let the food sit there,” Gaines said.
Petroff said the pasta line should change out every meal period, which is three hours. For example, lunch is 10:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.