By Brianna Robinson, Contributing Writer ||
I must admit, the fact that the majority of Sodexo workers on campus do not wear hairnets never really bothered me — that is, until I noticed hair in the food. Yes, I have seen with my own eyes hair in my food, and the food of others, on multiple occasions. I do not know what it is about someone else’s hair in my food that makes my stomach knot and makes me (almost) lose my appetite, but it is not a pleasant feeling.
I cringed the first time I witnessed a Sodexo employee’s hair fall from their head and land ever so gently in the Salsa Rico sour cream batch. I experienced a short-lived moment of disbelief, but the sight before my eyes was confirmed as true when the employee plucked the long strand from the sour cream and then proceeded to ask me if I would like guac or sour cream with my quesadilla… yeah, no thank you.
The second time the antics were upped, and I found three strands of hair intertwined with the mozzarella cheese in my flatbread. I was so hungry I was willing to eat the other half of the flatbread before heading to my next important, mandatory F&M thing when I found yet another hair. I took my flatbread back and one of Sodexo employees at ZeBi’s was so kind as to make me a new tomato mozzarella flatbread — this time, thankfully, without the hair.
So, I have been brought to this question: why exactly don’t any of the Sodexo workers on campus wear hairnets? Well, I have seen one lone employee sporting a net, but one out of a few dozen just is not cutting it for me. Yes, they all wear caps of some sort at all times, but this does not do much for those with long flowing locks. I know, I know — hairnets are not mandatory.
According to the Food Safety Standards, “all food handlers [should] take all practicable measures to ensure anything from their body or clothing does not contaminate food or food contact surfaces, including minimizing direct contact with ready-to-eat food.” That is to say, they are no regulations that require all food handlers cover their hair in any capacity as long as the measures they are taking to keep their hair, or any of part of their person, out of my food is “practicable.” Also, these food safety regulations are left up to our wonderful food providers at Sodexo.
Well, Sodexo, I have got news for you: the absence of hairnets is a problem. I was curious so I looked up the price of hairnets. Amazon has two for $6, and Sodexo, a multibillion dollar company could surely receive some sort of discount from your friendly neighborhood hairnet-making company, and, if they did not, they could still afford to buy them anyway.
Long hair tucked away by a small cap is not taking all measures to make sure your hair stays on your head and not in my food. Step it up, Sodexo. Seriously.
Brianna Robinson is a sophomore contributing writer. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.