One of the universal truths of college cafeterias is their stereotypical, lackluster food—not the most flavorful nor appetizing but ultimately good enough to get the job done. However, the past few weeks have proven to be a rough few for the Caf at John Brown University, with a few reported cases of food poisoning and a recent post on the Concerned Parents and Alumni of JBU Facebook page, discussing a recent event in which maggots were discovered in a baked good.
The post in question was made by Kyndall Garrison, a sophomore psychology major. The student was eating a tartlet in the cafeteria when she noticed something moving. She described what she saw as “a growing maggot or grub” that had “laid eggs around the crust of the tartlet.” She accompanied this description with a photo of the tartlet as well as a statement that has become popular at JBU: “If this doesn’t say the Caf needs to change, I don’t know what does.”
When discussing these issues, JBU’s Director of University Marketing and Communication, Julie Gumm, says to go straight to Creative Dining Services. “It would be much more helpful and productive if current students bring their concerns to CDS immediately when something like this is discovered. It allows them to work directly with the student to make things right and correct the error. They want students to have a good experience and are continuing to make adjustments based on student feedback.”
However, students have found their own way of bringing these problems to light. One popular source of these is the controversial JBU meme pages. Almost all of them have touched on issues with the cafeteria food this semester, including blandness, pink chicken and the abundant amount of pork being served. A few pages have taken to addressing these serious issues by alerting JBU students that this activity is occurring, and some, such as Underheard@JBU, have been collecting stories of people who have been affected by the inconsistencies of the cafeteria.
One meme-page owner has had a harrowing experience with the cafeteria first-hand. Kelly Leamon, a sophomore English major and owner of the Covenant Approved Instagram page, claims that she got food poisoning from some curry last year. “The Caf has gifted me with both truly delicious desserts and far less appetizing food poisoning, and I have taken about seven total credit hours of latrine studies as a result.”
While dining services have yet to acknowledge the maggot incident directly, they have taken some extra measures to make sure that everyone is safe, including throwing out baked goods that could have been contaminated. The cafeteria has also responded in an email to all students by making students aware of the steps they should take for reporting issues and concerns. The cafeteria now offers daily surveys in an attempt to ensure a quality experience.
Additionally, the email included a few updates that the cafeteria is making to increase quality of students’ dining experience, including “return passes” that will offer those who go outside to eat the ability to re-enter for refills or another serving without utilizing a second meal swipe. They have also promised to attempt to reintroduce china plates and to expand options at the Vegan, Homestyle and Zone stations.