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Concerns of Food Safety at the Winter Olympics

With the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympic Games upon us today, our eyes are not only pointed toward the many great international athletes that have descended on Vancouver, but also toward the food that they will be consuming over the next few weeks. In an effort to build awareness amongst the press and sports community alike, we are issuing a press release calling upon Sodexo to ensure food safety and increase its transparency about food safety issues entitled «Healthcare Union Raises Concerns Over Safety of Food to be Served to Olympic Athletes at Vancouver Olympics.»

Sodexo is providing catering services for athletes during this key moment in their sporting careers, and we’re concerned about the food they will be providing. Over the years, questions have been asked upon Sodexo in regards to what suppliers they use and the process in which the food is «cooked». Sodexo uses two variations in their catering, «cook and chill» and «cooked and served on-site». For example, cook and chill means the food is cooked elsewhere and shipped frozen to kitchens to be reheated. Because of this method, health code violations at the «cook and chill» facility can mean problems with the end product.

Sodexo has been under the microscope with 79 records of food safety noncompliance between December 2005 and September 2009, at a facility in Tennessee where it prepared meals that were provided to U.S. Marines. As stated in the press release,

«Sodexo has a record of using food from suppliers–such as Cargill Meat Solutions Corporation, a meat processor and distributor that owns major beef-distributor Beef Packers, Inc.–who have been the subject of major national food recalls including two recalls in 2009 for more than 826,000 pounds of beef feared contaminated with salmonella Newport and the 2007 recall of one million pounds of ground beef thought to be contaminated with a toxic form of E. coli bacteria…»

With this kind of history, it’s hard not to wonder where Sodexo is obtaining its food from for the Olympic Games. These athletes train years for an opportunity to show their prowess in their sport, and definitely deserve to know what kinds of food they’re ingesting each and everyday. We’re calling on Sodexo to be transparent during these Olympic Games in Vancouver, and highlight who their primary suppliers are, what types of food they will be serving and the methods they will use to cook it.

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