Photo Credit: Sherry Shivprasad
By Sherry Shivprasad
Aladdin offers a catering service to York College’s cafeteria. Some students, staff, faculty, and guests who are on campus get food from the cafeteria. Hosts even order food from the cafeteria for their events. Yet, the cafeteria and it’s catering service offer more than just foods to its consumers. They offer problems.
First, they do not offer healthy food and drink options for their consumers. This is probably why most students or staff choose to bring their food or buy healthy options outside of campus. On the York’s website it mentioned Aladdin as a “catering services has achieved the reputation of being one of the premiere catering services in this region.” This is obviously not true. Of what use is the catering service on campus if we have to go out and get food?
York student Fanny Ramos, a vegetarian is also upset about the food choices that Aladdin and the cafeteria offers.
I’m not thinking high cholesterol or heart attack,” Ramos said. “Everything is burgers, fries, and garbage with over the top prices. If your going to charge me an arm and a lege at least give me a reason.”
Another problem that the cafeteria offers is it’s lack of cleanliness. On Sept. 25, The New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene slapped the cafeteria with a 37 sanitary violation points. The main critical sanitary violation was the presence of filth flies or food/refuse/sewage flies in food and non-food areas. This is a repeated offense according to the Department’s website. Another violation included “Harborage of conditions conductive to attracting vermin to the premises and/or allowing vermin to exit.”
York’s students, staff and faculty deserve a sanitarily clean place to dine, if at all, we want to. On an average day on campus, it is easy to spot papers, pens, napkins, drink bottles, food containers, food sauces and sometimes bugs crawling and flying around. The insects that are present scavenge on food and hide away in dark places. Students and staff do not have to study,work or eat in such environment.
York student Rabina Poudel is also bothered by the lack of cleanliness.
“They don’t clean because there is a line of people who wait to buy breakfast,” Poudel said. “Some people want pancakes and the other wants eggs and cheese. They slide over the outside parts of the egg and make another breakfast without cleaning it.”
York has already purchased all of the food that is sold on campus from Aladdin. In turn, a food voucher would be given or raffled out to students. The voucher would be used as a cash substitute to pay for the meal. This system works well for York because they receive the money that is being spent instead of Aladdin. This deal allows the money that York spends to stay in the school rather than buying food from outside vendors.
If York wants to stop it’s community from buying food from outside vendors, it needs to make sure that its community is not subjected to dining in such unfavorable conditions. We would prefer this in conjunction with the free food vouchers. Make the cafeteria cleaner! Make Aladdin offer healthier choices. The unsanitary condition and lack of healthy options affects the well being of people who currently eat Aladdin’s food.