Samuel’s Story-Food Safety Regulations

Samuel Gonzalez is a food service worker for Chartwells at Trinity College. His food station, the SONO Station, is one of the most popular stations in Mather dining hall. Samuel has been living in Hartford all his life and has been working with Chartwells for about fifteen years. This was Samuel’s first job after he finished high school. (0:17) In his time working with the company, he has grown to love his job . Having the opportunity to work with his other cooks has allowed him to improve on the skills that he has been practicing for years, which in this case is making sure that the food is being served at the right temperature. Being able to work in an environment where both students and the Trinity community appreciate his work puts a smile on Samuel’s face.

Food Safety Regulations:

Some policies that can be seen referenced in this video include the temperatures that food regulations allow before food is served to the public and  how Chartwells management interacts with their Local 217 Union workers and students. Samuel mentions that when he is given food it is his job to make sure that everything is safe for consumption. (0:51) Cold foods have to be below forty degrees while the meats and hot foods have to be over a temperature of one hundred and sixty-five degrees Fahrenheit. He stresses the importance of serving food at these temperatures because if he messes up there might be a chance of someone getting food poisoning, such as E Coli. When food isn’t prepared properly, he would tell the chef that another batch would have to be made since it wasn’t done correctly the first time.

Labor Conditions:

Even though Samuel works for Chartwells, it’s important to know that he is a part of the Local 217 Union. (1:31) This changes the work environment for him because his Union is working with Chartwells, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are respected. Samuel mentions that sometimes some of the managers that work with him don’t treat the employees or the students with respect. While talking with Samuel I found out that before our interview, one of his managers came up to him and told him “You know you can’t say anything bad about Chartwells.” This concerned me because it does two things: 1) it shows that some of the managers are concerned with the way they have been treating their employees and students and 2) that this could be seen as a push to stay “quiet” about working with some of the managers, which could also be seen as harassment in the workplace.

Maximizing Profit:

Lastly, there are also some managers who only worry about the money the company is making. (2:14) For instance, Samuel talks about how they closed down the juice bar and replaced it with a smoothie bar. Being that smoothies cost around five to six bucks at this new station, it’s interesting how they are using this new bar to push students to spend their money at Mather where you can get as many smoothies as you want. Companies are always trying to make money and this is just one of the ways.

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