Reusable container program meets health department rules

Published in FSD Update

Students at Virginia Tech can now choose a reusable to-go container rather than a foam one at the West End, one of the campus’s 11 dining halls.

After paying a $12 annual membership fee, students receive a keychain with three tags, each representing a container that they can check out. They trade in the tags for a reusable container at the time of service, and dining staff will put the chosen food items directly into it. When students are finished with the container, they simply exchange it for a new tag. The used containers are then cleaned and sanitized by dining services staff. The program began last semester, according to Rial Tombes, sustainability coordinator for dining services.

A reusable container program was in place previously. However, students were required to wash and return the containers themselves. Due to health department regulations, dining services could not put food directly into the containers. Instead, students had to move their meal items from the service plate into the container.

In part due to the fact that the program is only at one location, only about 1 percent of to-go meals are placed in the reusable containers. Tombes hopes to have the program in place at multiple dining facilities or charge for the use of foam containers to increase participation. 

More From FoodService Director

Managing Your Business
change ahead sign large

The reality is that some people don’t like change. But as long as you partner with employees, there shouldn’t be major staff fallout.

It can be tricky to find the balance between listening to your team’s point of view on the changes and avoiding giving your power away. You may accept many or few recommendations, but you need to be able to explain your decisions. Regular department meetings to complete that circle of communication take more time, but it’s more efficient than doing damage control after the fact.

I’ve seen folks refuse to do a job based on their new job...

Ideas and Innovation
fsd marketing ideas

[ View the story "Marketing and operations ideas worth stealing" on Storify ]
Industry News & Opinion

Some Washington, D.C., foodservice operators may soon be required to provide staff with paid leave, as the city council on Tuesday passed one of the most extensive paid leave plans in the nation.

Barring a veto by Mayor Muriel Bowser, the measure mandates that all private sector employers in the district offer workers eight weeks of parental time off and six weeks to care for a sick relative.

While operators will not directly compensate workers—who will be paid 90% of their wages through a government-run insurance program—they will be hit with a 0.62% increase to employer...

Industry News & Opinion

Dallas Independent School District will serve breakfast and lunch over winter break for the first time this year, Dallas News reports.

Any child under 18 will be able to participate in the meal program, which will be offered in 12 cafeterias.

The Texas district will be partially reimbursed for the meals, receiving $3.39 per lunch served and 86 cents per breakfast. The remaining costs, which include paying cafeteria staff and supervisors, will be picked up by the district.

Read the full story via dallasnews.com .

FSD Resources