October 23, 2013
Yesterday, Julie Lampie, Tufts Dining’s nutritionist, led a group of interested students on a tour of Tufts Dining facilities. Truly an insightful experience it was, to say the least! We toured the central kitchen facilities located under the Dewick-Macphie Dining Hall where all of Tufts Dining’s food is made, stored, and loaded onto trucks for transportation across campus. A mind-boggling amount of effort goes into ensuring food safety and quality; Tufts Dining employs the HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) approach to food safety, which includes, for instance, regulating temperatures of all prepared foods hourly and blast-freezing to limit possibilities for even mild spoilage.
Here are some interesting facts on the amount of food that goes through the central kitchen:
– 200-300 dozen cookies baked each day
– 300 pizza dough discs made each day
– 65 gallons of butternut squash bisque when it’s on the menu
– 2500 onions each week
Afterwards Julie gave us a primer on Tufts Dining history. Back in the 80s and early 90s, when Julie started working at Tufts, students had very limited food choice at meals. Back then, only two entrees and a single vegetable side was available, and dishes tended towards the stick-to-your-rids variety (think tuna casserole or beef stroganoff). It is impressive how much Dining Services has changed, and generates a new appreciation for all the work that goes into providing our food.