By Vince Gasparini | February 20, 2023
The 518 Market is a staple of the Campus Center. Students go in and out every day, purchasing food items from the store’s variety of snacks, drinks, and meals. Any University at Albany student who has taken a walk through the Campus Center has more than likely at least stopped by. However, recent findings of expired food in 518 Market have raised some concern from UAlbany’s Student Association about food safety at the University at Albany.
Dutch Quad Senator Jalen Rose told the ASP that he decided to stop by the market after class to buy a snack. Senator Rose looked around the market and decided on buying a cheese stick. After he picked up the cheese stick, the expiration date caught his eye. The cheese was dated Jan. 14, 2023, over two weeks prior to when Jalen said this incident happened on Feb. 01, 2023. Jalen notified a worker of the expired cheese and then left the market.
Later on in the day, Rose returned to 518 Market, only to come across more discoveries.
“I noticed several Cold Cut foods that have been expired for months and some expiring back in August of 2022,” Rose said. Rose then took several photos of the food, and left the market once again.
Expired meats at 518 Market.
Photo Credit: Jalen Rose
Lynn Shaw, the UAlbany District Manager from Sodexo ensured that UAlbany Dining does its best to make certain that food quality is at its best.
“We will ensure that our managers are following up behind our vendors and checking to make sure that we're not short dated or receive a product that is expired at the time of receipt,” Shaw said. “We will also ensure that our staff is informed and that they do their daily checks of checking dates for expired products as well.”
UAlbany Dining normally has a Quality Assurance Manager, however that position is currently vacant according to Shaw.
“We normally have a quality assurance staff member or a manager who is on top of all the other procedures and auditing and inspections,” Shaw said.
Shaw also stated that they did have an interim Quality Assurance Manager for the first two weeks into the semester who provided some additional support and helped train managers. At this time, she has been doing the responsibilities of the Quality Assurance Manager while they search for a new hire.
Shaw is confident that this is not a common occurrence in UAlbany dining facilities, and is intent on making sure it stays that way.
“It's more than likely something that was overlooked by the vendor, but it's still up to us as the people that are selling the product to check and double check those dates as well,” Shaw said.
Roxanne Welch, Senior Director of Dining and Contracted Service Operations stated that, “All managers are trained in quality assurance and safety procedures.”