Buy or Sell Facebook page sees multiple dining hall food complaint posts

In this file photo, UConn's Whitney DIning Hall is seen. (File Photo/The Daily Campus)

If you have been on the Buy and Sell Facebook page within the past few months, you may have noticed people posting pictures of food that is raw, hosting bugs or in one special case, a paper clip.

“Situations like this are very frustrating for us,” Director of Dining Services Dennis Pierce said. “This is not the norm.”

It may seem normal to find something wrong with dining services food, but considering how many meals dining services puts out a week, it is not, Pierce said.

“Dining services prepares 180,000 meals per week, and our workers put in a total of 1,934 service hours a week,” he said. “With the number of people we’re serving there may be times when something will pop-up.”

Students are posting pictures of what they find in their food on social media and are not telling dining hall staff, Pierce said.

“The students don’t bring it to anyone’s attention,” Pierce said. “ That’s very frustrating.”

Some students agree with Pierce, like senior computer science and engineering major Ted Jensen.

“It kind of makes me angry,” Jensen said. “I don’t think that people who are posting that don’t do anything after that, they just do it to get likes and get feedback from other students. The reason why they put it on Facebook is because they are not going to actually go to the dining hall [supervisors]. I think that the dynamic between students saying that is largely condescending to the dining halls and dining hall staff, those people are working and serving the students and working pretty hard.”

Others, like sophomore cognitive science major Mackenna Conway, were torn as to where they stand.

“I feel pretty grossed out,” Conway said. “I’m not too worried about it, but one time I was in Northwest Grab and Go and found a twig in my wrap. I’ve never gone back there. So, I guess if I found something in my food in the [Student] Union I would never go back there. I haven’t found anything yet, so hopefully that won’t happen. I’m not too worried about it.”

If students do find a foreign object in their food they should immediately notify dining hall staff, Pierce said.

“It is disheartening to find out about the incidents,” Pierce said. “When students post on social media and we find out about it there is a time lapse, which makes the incident more difficult to fix.”

There is a process that occurs which involves the student, dining hall manager or supervisor, and then goes to a health inspector, Pierce said.

“If there ever is an issue we want the student to bring it to our attention, because this is not the norm,” he said.


Annabelle Orlando is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at annabelle.orlando@uconn.edu.