Vomiting, bloody diarrhoea, and fever. These are some of the symptoms of food poisoning that students were taught to identify at the main dining hall’s food safety awareness session on Tuesday.
The event, hosted by RoyalMnandi and the Wits Services Department, was aimed at informing students about food safety procedures.
This took place after recent incidents of hygiene issues in the main dining hall in the Matrix.
Main dining hall a repeat offender
In April the Wits Vuvuzela published an article about a student who had found a worm in her burger. In May, another student reported she was ill after eating a meal from the main dining hall. Both students claimed that RoyalMnandi had not been very helpful in addressing their problems. These reports informed the dining hall’s decision to host the food safety session.
Operations administrator at the main dining hall, Bontle Mogapi said that informing individual students about food safety did not benefit the broader student community, who could face similar situations or have queries in future. Mogapi said students were not aware of the responsibility they had towards food safety.
“It’s the little things that you see them doing in the dining hall that made us realise that they really do not know about personal hygiene and just the general hygiene of food handling,” she said.
Students were given a booklet detailing the difference between food poisoning and food illness and highlighting the importance of hand hygiene.
Testing their knowledge
Students were given a quiz to showcase their knowledge of food safety procedures. A lucky draw gave students the opportunity to win prize hampers.
Ashlan Raju, 3rd year BAccSci, was grateful that the dining hall finally had the session.
“They don’t use gloves at the main dining hall. So I found that as a problem, but now they kind of make us aware of why they don’t use gloves, which I think is quite a good thing to do,” Raju said.
The results from a study, reviewed during the session, showed that staff members who did not wear gloves were inclined to sanitise their hands on a regular basis.
Wearing gloves gave a false sense of security as glove fragments could end up in food and undetected holes in gloves could release bacteria from moist hands into food.
Wits Vuvuzela, Food scare opens a can of worms, April 12, 2013
Wits Vuvuzela, “Royal” food poisoning leaves bad taste, May 17, 2013