By Prapti Bamaniya
Ryerson students have reportedly bought expired and uncooked foods at on-campus eateries at Pitman Dining Hall and the Starbucks in the Sheldon and Tracy Levy Student Learning Centre (SLC).
Mallory Hurley, a first-year psychology student said she noticed the chicken in her buffalo chicken wrap appeared to not be fully cooked. She described it as “pink in the middle” at Pitman Dining hall, a place where she and other Ryerson students dine on the daily.
“Ryerson Eats prides itself on offering fresh, wholesome and nutritious menu items and products to the Ryerson community,” said Ryerson Eats in an emailed statement when asked about the expired and uncooked food.
“If a student comes across an item that is past its ‘best-by’ date, they may bring it to the attention of a Ryerson Eats staff member. All Ryerson Eats chefs and front-line service staff receive training regarding food safety and will immediately take steps to remove all affected food items and investigate the root cause.”
“I don’t think I will be going back for a long time”
Meal plans at Ryerson range from $4,090 to $5,500 for seven-day and five-day meal plans. Students also have the option of a small $950 declining balance meal plan where they can load money on their OneCard to use across campus—similar to a debit card. Hurley said seeing uncooked food at Pitman is frustrating, as a student who is paying thousands of dollars for food.
“I used to go [to Pitman] pretty often,” said Hurley. “They should be aware of what they’re putting out…[at] all the cafeterias in general.”
According to Health Canada, raw chicken is often contaminated with bacteria. Undercooked chicken or other foods or beverages contaminated by raw chicken or its juices can lead to foodborne illness or food poisoning.
Gurleen Sidhu, a first-year history student, purchased a wrap at the Service Hub in Jorgenson Hall on Sept. 17, only to find that its expiry date was Sept. 10.
“Honestly, I spent so much money on that wrap, I was hungry and I was ready to eat it, and then to find out that it was expired was just really disappointing,” said Sidhu.
Sidhu said that she is still concerned about the food being served at Ryerson eateries.
“After what happened there, I don’t think I will be going back for a long time.”
Sidhu, who lives in the HOEM Residence, said out of the eight on-campus eateries, the closest one to her is an eight-minute walk—the International Living & Learning Centre. She said that because Ryerson is limited in terms of places to swipe her OneCard, getting a meal plan “may have been a mistake.”
“I even felt a little sick that night”
Similar to Sidhu, Megan Pilozo, a first-year performance production student, experienced what she said looked like expired soy milk in her coffee at Starbucks in the SLC.
“After I was almost halfway done, I realized the milk was chunky at the bottom of the cup,” said Pilozo. “I threw it away immediately, and I even felt a little sick that night.”
She said that she wishes they would have informed her they didn’t have soy milk instead of making her pay for something that could have been expired.
“I’m lactose intolerant, and I spend a lot of time studying at the SLC, so I guess I just can’t be having coffee from [that] Starbucks anymore,” Pilozo said.