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

Sponsored Content
chili flakes and peppers spicy hot

From Catallia.

When planning your menus, take note: college and university students think spicy is hot.

Fifty-seven percent of consumers age 18-34 find spicy flavors, “extremely appealing,” according to Technomic. And almost 50% of college students surveyed said they would like their schools to offer more ethnic foods and beverages, states a recent Technomic College & University Consumer Trend Report. Translation: they like their food kicked up a notch!

More Options than Ever

“Students of today are all about flavor,” says Steve Mangan, director of dining for...

Industry News & Opinion

Sodexo is partnering with celebrity chef Robert Irvine in an attempt to provide military communities with healthier meals.

The 10-year partnership will allow Sodexo to access chef Irvine’s knowledge of nutrition and fitness in its aim to benefit the quality of life for military members, the vendor said in a news release.

Sodexo hopes that Irvine’s popularity as the host of Food Network’s "Restaurant: Impossible" will draw attention to its commitment to nutrition, health and well being. Irvine also has a military history himself—before embarking on his culinary career, he...

Industry News & Opinion

The cafeteria at the Smithsonian's new National Museum for African American History and Culture is intended to be an extension of the museum, showcasing stations that offer cuisines from different geographic locations such as the Creole coast and agricultural South, Time reports .

The eatery, Sweet Home Cafe, was set up to highlight the wide range of African-American cuisine, Executive Chef Jerome Grant told Time. When it officially opens later this month, it will serve dishes such as shrimp and grits, pan-roasted oysters and a fried catfish po’boy.

Celebrity chef Carla...

Sponsored Content
Pierce boneless wings

From Pierce Chicken.

Spicy chicken wings have taken off as an iconic American food since their debut at the Anchor Bar Restaurant in Buffalo, N.Y., in 1964. They reached a new milestone during Super Bowl 50 weekend in February, when more than 1.3 billion wings were consumed, according to the National Chicken Council.

The emergence of boneless wings—breaded, boneless chunks of chicken breast with zesty flavors—has made a good thing even better. In fact, research shows that boneless wings complement traditional bone-in wings on restaurant menus, boosting the entire wing...

FSD Resources