• Wingate student reportedly finds grasshopper in food after school makes changes

    Updated:

    WINGATE, N.C. - Days after the school said it is making changes regarding food safety, a Wingate student contacted Channel 9 after they reportedly found a grasshopper in their food. 

    In a video posted on Twitter, the student sifts through their salad and shows what appears to be a grasshopper in it.

    This comes after Wingate students asked Channel 9 to investigate serious concerns about the safety of the food they were served last month. 

    Students sent us pictures of undercooked chicken and worms in broccoli.

    School officials said they are aware of the situation, and they are not taking it lightly. 

    "Our students expect a certain level of food service, and this incident does not meet the standards we require of our food vendors," the school said in a statement. "The fact that this incident comes on the heels of a worm found in broccoli last month adds to the urgency to address and correct this situation." 


    SCHOOL STATEMENT: 

    University officials are aware of the latest video posted to social media showing what appears to be a grasshopper in a student’s salad. The General Manager of Aramark has reached out to the student who posted the video and an investigation into the incident is underway.

    The University is not taking this situation lightly. Our students expect a certain level of food service, and this incident does not meet the standards we require of our food vendors. The fact that this incident comes on the heels of a worm found in broccoli last month adds to the urgency to address and correct this situation.

    After the student alerted Aramark staff, staff immediately pulled the product in question and notified the vendor. In order to reduce the risk of foreign objects being missed while washing produce, Aramark staff has been instructed to wash salad mixes in smaller portions.

    “Serving safe, nutritious food is our top priority. We apologize and are looking into this situation with our supplier,” Aramark General Manager Thomas Bedward said.

    More information regarding this incident will be forthcoming.


    The school said after the student told the Aramark staff, they immediately pulled the product in question and are continuing to look into the situation with the product's supplier. 

    Last month, Channel 9 obtained the Health Department’s recent investigation at Wingate University, which came after several students and parents complained.

    The university said it was making changes after the latest incidents. 

    “There (were) worms in the broccoli,” said student Makiya Hargrave.  ​​

    “The food is nasty. It’s disgusting. We pay too much to go here, and it’s just like we don’t get what we pay for,” said Jordan Revas.

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    Some students said they steer clear of the dining hall.

    “I try to avoid it as much as I can,” said Hargrave.

    Students and parents contacted the Union County Health Department.

    One student said she saw cafeteria staff drop a cheeseburger on the floor, pick it up and serve it to another student.

    “It’s just ridiculous,” said Revas.

    Channel 9 contacted Wingate University about the concerns at the time said there had been one parent complaint.

    Channel 9 requested documents from the Health Department and found there were multiple complaints from students and parents. The university's food service provider contacted the Health Department to report issues and asked for a re-inspection.

    The inspector said they [Aramark] found more worms in the broccoli, resulting in it being pulled, according to the documents.

    “I probably would have (eaten) it and gotten sick,” said Revas.

    On Sept. 5, the university sent a letter to parents about the tainted meals.

    Wingate's food vendor, Aramark, was making immediate changes including, a new general manager, its staff had increased by 40 percent and washed produce more.

    Aramark also requested a full re-inspection of the dining facility from the Health Department.

    The Health Department said all employees would undergo a food handler's course.

    “I still find myself inspecting it first,” said LaVonda Briggs

    Some students said they've noticed a change in the dining hall.

    “I feel like they are really trying to listen to the students and our feedback for our health and safety,” said Briggs.

    The university said additional changes include:

    • The general manager meeting with various student groups on campus in order to address concerns directly with students and to utilize feedback for growth.
    • A “Students Choice Station” where students can vote on the station of their choice to be added to the dining hall’s variety.
    • An addition of a Restaurant Rotation station within the dining hall to highlight recipes from around the nation/globe.

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