Boston schools renew Whitsons contract

The management company promises changes following a scathing external report.

BOSTON—Boston public school students will enjoy more locally sourced food, participate in quarterly taste tests, and receive a greater say in planning menus as part of a $12.2 million a year food-service contract revealed Tuesday.

Under the deal with Whitsons Culinary Group, the school system will also resume a pilot salad bar project at six schools, said Sam DePina, chief operating officer for student support. The district had faced criticism from parents and staff after shutting down the program last school year.

“We want to make sure they’re getting the healthiest possible food,” DePina said. “We always knew there was a demand for more local options and salads.”

The contract with New York-based Whitsons, which has been the district’s meals provider for the past three school years, was announced months after a scathing external report commissioned by the School Department revealed widespread dysfunction in the food service program.

According to the review, the program had lost more than $21 million over the past eight years, and some employees complained of a hostile work environment. Whitsons had nothing to do with the issues highlighted in the report, school officials say.

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn., has replaced a fajita bar in one of its dining halls with a superfoods bar, Tommie Media reports.

Aiming to provide more options for athletes and students with dietary restrictions, the new bar offers diners a choice of protein with a variety of toppings, such as beans, fruit, couscous and quinoa.

The superfoods bar has made a few appearances on campus since it was first tried for the school’s football players last summer.

“Word of mouth is getting out, and every day I get a few more people,” Ryan Carlson, a cook at the...

Sponsored Content
gluten free diet

From Stouffer’s.

A large part of menuing allergen-friendly cuisine is deciding which gluten-free items to serve.

In particular, college dining hall operators must decide whether to make gluten-free items in-house or to order gluten-free items from a manufacturer. Some factors to consider are: the size of the university, the demand for gluten-free options,and the ability to have separate gluten-free storage and workspaces in the university dining hall kitchen.

According to FoodService Director , 77% of college and university operators purchase their gluten-free...

Industry News & Opinion

Reading Hospital in West Reading, Pa., is using robots to help deliver patient meals, BCTV reports.

The eight robots, named TUGs, will be used to transport meals from the hospital’s nutrition services department to patient floors at Reading HealthPlex for Advanced Surgical & Patient Care.

Moving at three miles per hour, the robots will follow preprogrammed routes to the HealthPlex, where room ambassadors will remove room service carts from the TUGs and deliver them to patients. The TUGs will then return to nutrition services with dirty dishes for cleaning.

The...

Industry News & Opinion

Sodexo has partnered with fast casual Blaze Pizza to offer the chain’s signature pizzas, salads, beverages and desserts at select venues served by Sodexo, including colleges and universities.

Bill Lacey, senior vice president of marketing at Sodexo, said that Blaze’s growth in the fast-casual sector drove the partnership. Blaze opened its first unit in 2012 near the University of California at Irvine. Its pizzas are flash fired, cooking in under 180 seconds, according to the chain—a selling point for busy customers.

FSD Resources