The Caf causes major food frustration

Abigail McCarter, Columnist

Samford holds itself to a very high standard. That is, except when it comes to its food service. The Caf is far from Samford’s pride and joy, and students are less than enthusiastic about having to eat there day after day. Students are deeply frustrated with not only the outrageous cost of meal plans, but also the lackluster quality of food.

Many students avoid eating in the Caf as often as possible and will only eat there if it is absolutely necessary. Despite having unlimited meal plans, some eat there only once a week to feel like the thousands of dollars they spend on a meal plan is not completely going to waste.

The fact that all students living on campus must purchase a meal plan is absurd. Students are required to live on campus until the age of 21, except under certain circumstances.

Requiring all on-campus students to purchase a meal plan is like forcing students to pay thousands of dollars for groceries they are not going to use.

Students should have the option to purchase a meal plan, but the school should not make us pay for unappealing food we have no desire whatsoever to eat.

An even bigger concern than the outlandish cost of meal plans is the quality of the food students are paying thousands of dollars for each semester.

There is a Twitter account—Samford U Caf Probs— that has been cataloguing these unfortunate occurrences since 2012. With nearly 600 tweets, it is clear that people know quality control is not the Caf’s number one prerogative.

The problems are much more serious than a few tweets, however. Students have found bones in “boneless chicken,” had screws turn up in bowls of stir fry, removed bits of paper from a serving of mashed potatoes, and countless other misadventures.

The same serving spoons are used for multiple dishes without being sanitized in between, which has caused cross-contamination for students with severe food allergies. Chicken has been found to be undercooked, which has caused numerous students to get sick over the years.

These are not small problems like wanting a different dressing option on the salad bar, these are serious issues that put the health of students in jeopardy.

Sodexo, the company responsible for the food at Samford, is the second largest food service provider in the world. The company claims to strive to make student lunches healthier.

However, a study from isitbadforyou.com that was approved by a board of certified nutritionists and medical doctors gave Sodexo an F rating for their use of over-processed ingredients and for masking yesterday’s foods with different sauces.

So why are Samford students being forced to shell out tons of money for unhealthy and unappetizing food? Samford students deserve better and more affordable options. Students should be able to decide whether or not they want to spend money to eat in the Caf, and should not have to worry about getting sick or finding objects in their food if they do eat in the Caf.

Samford, hold your food service to the same standard you hold academics. Do not let the cost and quality of the food you offer students taint your wonderful reputation or deter prospective students from choosing Samford.

McCarter is a freshman journalism and mass communication major.

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