The latest chapter in the seemingly never-ending saga of students vs. Barone’s Main Dining Room features an unlikely villain: a furry brown moth that Julia Devico ‘16 allegedly found in the spinach bucket of Barone’s salad bar.

“I was speechless,” said Devico, who later uploaded a photo of the moth to Instagram. “I didn’t really know what to do.”

After seeing Devico’s photo, Emma Haddad ‘16 decided that enough was enough.

Taking matters into her own hands, Haddad created a change.org petition that states Sodexo “make the food in Barone barone2healthy and safe to eat without the invasion of moths and other creatures.”

Yet even before the insect incident, Haddad had been dissatisfied with the quality and variety in Fairfield’s dining hall, lamenting the alleged undercooked meats, dirty dishes, lack of healthy options and vegetables that were “hard as rocks.”

Acquiring 80 supporters within the first week of being posted, the petition is slowly gaining steam, eliciting powerful comments from signees such as Olivia Pentell ‘16.

“I want the food I’m paying for to be healthier for me and my peers,” Pentell said.

Freshman James Pulie agreed, and added that while he has no complaints with the taste of the food, it “makes me feel a little sick.”

Sodexo General Manager Bryan Davis said he faults a lack of communication for many student grievances.

“All students have to do is come talk to us. We can’t do anything about complaints if we don’t hear them,” Davis said, adding that Sodexo uses a variety of outlets, such as the suggestion board and monthly “table talk” sessions in an attempt to get feedback from students.

In regards to the rumored insect invasion, Sodexo Executive Chef Nick Pawlowski said, “It wasn’t brought to our attention until days later,” adding that, had the staff been made aware, they would have pulled the product immediately.

barone1Sodexo District Manager Brian Hicks outlined a rigorous inspection procedure that requires produce to be washed “two or three times,” and then stamped for approval.

If the spinach is washed more than that, it begins to lose its nutrients, according to Pawlowski.

However, after speaking to the manufacturer of the afflicted spinach, Hicks admitted, “it happens.”

All three said they are quick to assure that student safety is of the utmost priority.

Insects aside, Davis added that students need to take responsibility for their own health.

While describing Sodexo’s efforts to make healthy options available to students through stations such as the salad bar and the newly introduced “MyZone,” Davis revealed “The number one most popular item on the menu? Chicken nuggets. Number two? Bacon.”

“Students choose what they want to eat and we can’t do anything about that,” Davis said.

Some Fairfield students seemed to support Sodexo’s efforts, claiming to see no reason to sign Haddad’s petition.

Junior Resident Assistant Sohail Sumra, who described the typical Barone fare as “edible,” said that many students have overly high standards. “Were people expecting five-star dinners every night? College food all over the world isn’t great.”

Junior Katherine Ngyuen echoed Sumra’s sentiments, and commended Barone for improving and diversifying the menu over the years and adding new items such as fruit and hummus.

“We want to help students in any way,” said Davis, as he described meetings he has had with disgruntled students in the barone4past. “All it takes is a phone call.”

Yet Haddad said she is still skeptical.  “I know they care but does that mean they’re going to change things? I don’t think so.”

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