Cal Dining refunds student’s meal points after complaint about strange substance

Related Posts

A student was refunded her meal points after her filing of a complaint about her meal Thursday at Unit 3’s dining commons prompted an investigation, according to a Cal Dining representative.

Kathy Kang, a freshman, posted an image to the student-run Facebook group Free and For Sale after she and a friend found a dark-colored substance in her omelette at Cafe 3. The post is no longer visible on the page, but Kang said she called Cal Dining before uploading the image.

“When I pulled a little piece out, I thought it was a little chunk of hair,” Kang said. “We just kept staring at it.”

She was then contacted by Cafe 3’s general manager, Marvin Garcia, who said in an email that staff had “taken steps to ensure that this will never happen” and that she would be refunded eight meal points. Kang said that she was relieved by how the situation was handled once she contacted Cal Dining and that she was told to contact Garcia if she had any health issues.

According to Cal Dining Executive Director Shawn LaPean, the incident is being reviewed by quality-assurance personnel, including the campus health inspector. He said in an email that the substance was traced back to a food utensil, which has been disposed of.

“Incidents with problems similar to this are very rare,” LaPean said. “Serving almost 5 million meals a year, we receive only a handful of comments that are similar to this one.”

Some other students on the Free and For Sale page posted anecdotes about unsatisfactory Cal Dining experiences.

Customers who wish to comment on their food, LaPean said, should contact a dining commons manager or supervisor as soon as possible to ensure the same issue does not recur. He said Cal Dining staff try to respond to student complaints within 24 hours.

G. Haley Massara is a news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @BylineGraph.