Sodexho strives to improve offerings
Friday, October 26, 2007
By Alana Duffle
the constant grumblings of students, Oklahoma Christian University’s
dining service provider is nationally renowned and held to extremely
high health and safety standards.
Sodexho provides Oklahoma Christian University’s cafeteria food and
has partnered with them for 30 years. Before Sodexho, Oklahoma
Christian was partnered with Aramark.
Apart from Oklahoma Christian, Sodexho provides food for many other
places, including elementary schools, high schools, hospitals,
colleges, local businesses and some military bases. Sodexho even has a
housekeeping branch. They are the largest contracting company in the
Sodexho creates a generalized, 32-week menu for the cafeteria. This
menu is revised by Chef Kenny Stratton who picks the food for each
day. The revised menu is approved by Area General Manager Kurt
Hurmanson, who has been employed with Sodexho for 30 years.
It is convenient for Sodexho to only have to create one menu for all
their catering services across the United States, but it is
inconvenient for cafeterias because of the cultural differences of
entrees. For instance, chicken fried steak isn’t on the original menu
because it is primarily a Southern dish.
The Oklahoma Christian cafeteria strives to provide a variety of
healthy foods, but it’s very difficult to satisfy everyone. Many
students would be upset if the standard pizza and french fries were
removed from the menu.
“We serve healthy food. It’s up to the students whether or not to
eat the healthy choices. If you’re looking for healthy foods, I
suggest you eat the baked items and salad,” Hurmanson said.
Once a year Sodexho is audited by the National Safety Foundation.
They also complete a food safety audit each month and perform weekly
They follow detailed regulations. For instance, the food has to be
above a certain temperature at all times, otherwise, it has to be
reheated or thrown out because it isn’t considered safe enough to be
“We, as a staff, do all that we can to promote healthy lifestyles. We
have a book at the entrance which lists all of our foods and the
nutritional values of each. We also have all the nutritional values
posted on our Web site, so you could type in the food that is on your
plate and check the values. We are also trying to implement a program,
which I designed, called ‘Healthy Plate Program.’ This program will
allow students to count their calories with ease. We encourage
students to ’creatively dine.’ For instance, students can make a
chicken salad by getting a piece of baked chicken and slicing in up
then adding it to their salad,” said Hermanson.
Cafeteria staff takes student suggestions seriously; they hold a
weekly meeting to implement these suggestions. Sodexho encourages all
students and staff to voice their concerns as often as they want to.