No one complained earlier about food quality, says caterer

2010-03-24 00:00

STUDENTS at the Durban University of Technology say they are served inferior food at high prices, but food service company Capitol Caterers disputes this allegation, and maintains that allegations of poor quality have never been brought to its attention.

Executive operations director Russell Nzimande said the company has a long history and serves big clients, such as the University of the Western Cape and the Central University of Technology in Bloemfontein.

“We have a name to uphold and we would never serve rotten food. As a food service provider, we adhere to safe food-handling procedures.

“Part of this is to keep a sample of every dish served for 48 hours so it can be tested in case of food-borne illness,” he said.

Nzimande said that in monthly meetings with the food committee and the house committee, the issue of bad food has never been raised.

Nzimande said students can discuss the pricing of cooked food, but the prices of cool drinks and snacks are not set by the caterers.

Since talks on new price proposals had become deadlocked, he added, Capitol is still using last year’s prices.

“We gave them our proposals and to this day we have not received counter-proposals. We have written letters to the institutions in hopes that they are handling it.”

Nzimande said the cafeteria was burgled last week and food and computers were stolen.

“I find it ironic that they claim our food is of inferior quality, yet they could steal meat and frozen pies. Why, if it will make them sick?”

Nzimande said that neither he nor the insurance company have been allowed into the property to assess the damage. “We had just had drinks worth R62 000 delivered, now only crates are left. They damaged doors and windows and took computers with all the information, and we can’t pay our suppliers.”

Nzimande said that a list of proposed prices was submitted by the students on the evening before they embarked on a strike.

“A platform was never opened for us to discuss this. But even on that list, nowhere did they mention the bad quality of food.”

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