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Memorial University works with Aramark to ensure food safety and food quality on campus

March 26, 2015

Earlier this week, students raised concerns regarding food service issues in the Main Dining Hall on the St. John’s campus.

Memorial University is working with its contracted food service provider, Aramark, to address these concerns and to ensure food safety and food quality on campus. We take student concerns seriously, and are committed to rectifying these issues.

Health and Safety

Over the past few days, a thorough food safety assessment has taken place, including daily food quality tests, and we requested an additional food safety inspection from the province’s Services NL.

This requested inspection took place at the Main Dining Hall on Wednesday, March 25, and the results are satisfactory. The dining areas on the St. John’s campus are subject to regular food safety inspections from the province’s health inspectors, and this will continue on a regular basis.

To provide an additional layer of inspection, we are planning a health and safety audit which will be conducted by an independent third-party company in the coming weeks.

Aramark has also brought in some of their senior leadership, including the company’s head chef, to do a thorough review of the menu and food service procedures.

Residence Dining Committee

We are also taking significant steps to improve mechanisms for student input and feedback, so concerns can be responded to in a more timely and constructive way. 

We are working with student representatives and Aramark to form a Residence Dining Committee, which will create a direct avenue for student engagement, a forum for constructive and healthy feedback around residential dining services, a focus on continuous improvements and help to maximize student satisfaction. 

We are also planning student focus groups and a survey to request input from students regarding food services.

We continue to have meetings with the undergraduate student union, MUNSU, and look forward to the recommendations that will come from their March 25 town hall meeting.

Requests for Feedback

It is imperative that Aramark and the university be made aware of students’ concerns regarding food services in a timely manner. In an effort to encourage timely feedback from students, which will allow us to respond to concerns promptly, we are developing improved communication channels, and making sure Aramark management are visible and approachable at food service areas. Aramark is working on improving a mobile app which allows students to provide feedback in real time, and they have included a feedback form on their website.

To provide feedback:

  • Brian Slemming is Aramark's new interim general manager for food services at Memorial University. Mr. Slemming can be reached at slemming-brian@aramark.ca, or at the Dining Office at 709-864-2104. You will see him around the dining hall and other food service locations on campus. He’s here to answer any questions you may have.
  • Rex Coffin, Memorial’s director of Ancillary Operations, is also available to speak with students who wish to discuss their concerns directly with someone at Memorial. Mr. Coffin can be reached at rex.coffin@mun.ca.
  • Fill out the feedback form on Aramark’s website (lower left corner of the homepage)

“Over the past few days, students in residence at Memorial have made it clear that changes are required in terms of food service on campus,” said Rex Coffin, director, Ancillary Operations. “I want to assure students that their voices are being heard, and that we are taking their concerns very seriously. Student safety and wellness are top priorities for our team at Memorial. We are committed to using these recent events as an opportunity to make significant improvements to the food operation moving forward. Changes will be made, and we invite student input and feedback throughout this process.”