Food waste in Dining Hall

Fraser Pearson answers students’ questions about leftovers in RFOC Dining Hall.

Nathan Sims, Viking Fusion Videographer

The RFOC Dining Hall at Berry College goes through 70 to 100 pounds of waste every day, according to General Manager of Food Services Fraser Pearson. 

When food is prepared but not eaten, Aramark has to throw the food away.

“Once it is on the line, it must be used or disposed of,” Pearson said.

This means that any leftover food is discarded.

The biggest source of waste is from unpopular food items, Pearson said. If people do not eat a certain dish, Aramark throws it in the garbage. They are unlikely to use the recipe again.

The Dining Hall “produces more than is likely to be consumed,” Pearson said. This is to allow for students who get multiple servings of the same dish. 

Pearson explained that food is made fresh, despite appearing to be the repurposing of leftovers. The chicken pot pie, for example, does not use biscuits from breakfast. Instead, servers keep the dough from the morning and bake them fresh for lunch or dinner.

Keeping leftovers runs the risk of spreading the norovirus, Pearson said. The norovirus can be spread from people not washing their hands. This can cause stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting, according to the Center for Disease Control.

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