CLU exempt from horse meat scandal

Sodexo, Inc., which supplies food to the CLU campus, is confident that their food does not contain horse meat, unlike their European branch that has had recent reports of horse meat in their beef products.

“Sodexo United Kingdom announced that it had found elements of horse meat in the DNA in a small sample of its frozen beef product line,” said Enrico Dinges, who works in corporate communications for Sodexo Inc. “That is what initiated the recall of the products across the United Kingdom.”

Beef products supplied by Sodexo, Inc. were recalled across the U.K. on Friday, Feb. 22, after DNA testing found horse meat in the samples.

“As a precaution, there was a decision made by the Sodexo European group to remove or recall those products,” said Dinges.

Sodexo, Inc. supplies California Lutheran University with food that is served at the Dining Commons and the Centrum Cafe. The company also controls the Purple People Eater and Jamba Juice, according to Martin Finfrock, director of food services at CLU.
“We have been contracted by California Lutheran University to take care of all the food on campus,” said Finfrock.

When this news came out to the public, students were shocked, and it made them a little wary of what they were eating. Senior Cecily Coco said that she initially heard of this issue while watching the news on television.

“I was definitely disgusted. It kind of makes you second guess,” said Coco. “If that is going on there, what is happening here that you don’t know about?”

Dinges said the Sodexo, Inc. group in North America is separate from the European group and that this issue has only occurred overseas, not in the U.S.

“We are separate,” said Dinges. “We do not import or use any beef from Europe. It is all sourced in North America. Sodexo has requested and received confirmation from our meat suppliers in the U.S. that they do not distribute meat products from European countries.”

He confirmed that there is no suspicion of any horse meat being found in any of the Sodexo, Inc. products here in North America. He said this is because the United States Department of Agriculture has strict regulations on where the company sources their meat from.

“The USDA has stringent regulations regarding beef,” said Dinges.” There are no slaughter houses registered in the United States for horse meat.”

Senior Arely Rivera-Rojas is skeptical.

“There are a lot of things that remain hidden in these restaurants or catering businesses,” said Rivera-Rojas.

She said that issues like this worry her, but she is relieved that the food at the university has not been impacted.

“It is a little scary,” said Rivera-Rojas. “It worries me and concerns me a little, not knowing what I’m eating.”

Dinges and Finfrock both stressed that the Sodexo, Inc. food supplied to CLU has not been impacted by this issue.

“There is no concern whatsoever,” said Finfrock. “There is no link.”

Dinges echoed Finfrock’s assurance.

“We are confident that the products and operations will not be compromised,” said Dinges. “It is very remote, the possibility that it would occur or show up here.”


Heather Ford
Staff Writer
Published March 6, 2013