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ARA cook disregarded food freshness labeling

(Editor's note: The Tech received a copy of the following letter, addressed to Ken Miller, the general manager of Food Services.)

Throughout three years of mandatory meal plans at MIT, I have not filed a formal complaint. I have been unhappy with the food service provided by ARA many times, but have let my frustration pass, assuming I could not change the system. Finally, I must speak. ARA blatantly disregards the health of people it serves and this should be stopped.

Last week at dinner at Next House, I noticed the yogurt had passed its freshness date by several days. As a worker at the Student Center coffeehouse, I know that it is not a good idea to sell yogurt past its date, especially since the Next House dining hall keeps yogurt out unrefrigerated through the dinner hours until it sells. I mentioned that the yogurt was past its date to a student worker, who was standing next to one of the Next House cooks. The student said he would alert the manager. I suggested that the yogurt be removed, as it is possibly illegal to sell yogurt past its date. The cook responded, "Nothing's illegal until we are sued; if someone dies and we are sued, it is illegal." Having a worker tell me that he does not care unless a student dies is evidence of ARA's gross policies.

I realize that, as a student, I have little control over whether or not ARA will be allowed to continue "serving" the MIT community. Still, if MIT is planning to continue to allow this service, they should be more respectful of students' health. Forcing hundreds of students to eat ARA food through the mandatory meal plan allows ARA to continue their poor policies with no risk or income loss. This is disgusting.

Joanne Spetz '90->