April 15, 2021

Dining Services addresses concerns regarding vegan options, food safety

Editor’s note: Featured image is a pre-pandemic file photo and does not reflect current state of the MDR

Vegan food options seem to be quite hard to find in most restaurants and food places. So, how do the students at Capital feel about the vegan options offered from dining services?

“It would be nice to see more effort be put into the plant-based options,” Maxwell Zawatsky, third-year studio art major, said. 

Salads, french fries, cooked vegetables, and rice are some of the current vegan options, but Zatawsky feels that more options could be added to the menu for Capital’s vegan students.

“I did appreciate that the plant-based options were in a separate area from the rest of the meals that were offered, though. Having soy milk, plant-based cheeses, and GF [gluten free] bread away from products that might be harmful to some individuals was appreciated. I do not take dairy well, so if dishes that had a significant amount of dairy in them got into the food I was eating I would have had stomach issues,” Zawatsky said.

An anonymous source said, “I just wish I had more options, and that they didn’t offer me the same food every week. The good thing about Capital’s dining service is the workers. Most of them are exceptionally kind, caring, and helpful.” 

In terms of safety, Dining Services ensures to separate certain foods in accordance with food allergies or preferences. 

“Vegan options can be found on some of the stations, and ‘The Kitchen,’ which is our allergen-free kitchen located on the north side of MDR [and] is specifically designed to meet all special dietary needs free from our standard fare,” Liz Hernandez, director of Dining Services, said.

“Our allergen kitchen works with all [dietary] restrictions; also, students can ask any manager or member of our staff for gluten-free options if they [are] not certain or don’t see it right a way in our menu,” she continued.

The menus for students to select food from contain the ingredients as well as some food allergy alerts.

Another recent concern regarding food policy at Capital has become the contingency of power outages. Of that concern, Hernandez said that there are walk-in coolers which hold in temperature. If the outage is long, a cooler truck can be rented. According to Hernandez, if temperatures rise to an unsafe level, the product is discarded immediately. 

Additionally, the dining services at Capital have certainly made changes due to the ongoing concern concerning the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“We increased sanitation and added a sanitation table in MDR for students who prefer to wipe down their own tables,” Hernandez said. “Facilities added plexiglass barriers and shower curtains to the booths allowing for safe seating.” 

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