Pune University Students Up in Arms Over Poor Quality Mess Food

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Pune, 22nd April 2024: The uproar over food safety and quality in educational institutions continues as Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) faces criticism following an incident where students were served substandard food in the university refectory. This comes in the wake of a recent food poisoning incident affecting 40 female students at Mumbai University.

On Monday, students dining in the university mess were served chapatis made from bad-quality flour, prompting them to raise objections and demand accountability from the mess contractor. Alleging that the chapatis were sour and inedible, students voiced their dissatisfaction and abandoned their meals midway. In response, the university administration levied a fine of five thousand rupees on the mess contractor.

Instances of poor hygiene and food contamination have plagued the SPPU mess, leading to the cancellation of the refectory contractor’s contract and their subsequent expulsion from the university. Despite this, concerns persist over the quality of food being served, with students citing recurring issues with hygiene standards and food preparation. Another mess contractor had been given the additional responsibility of the refectory but the quality of food has not improved.

Complaints ranged from sour chapatis and unpalatable vegetables to lapses in hygiene practices, including employees not wearing caps or gloves while handling food. The incident escalated into a verbal altercation between students and a mess contractor employee, highlighting the growing frustration among the student body.

Footage capturing the sour food and unsanitary conditions has been circulated widely on social media platforms, drawing attention to the ongoing crisis. Students expressed fears of a potential food poisoning outbreak akin to the recent incident at Mumbai University, underscoring the urgency for swift action from university authorities.

Chairman of the Catering Committee at SPPU, Rajendra Ghode, acknowledged the students’ grievances and confirmed the imposition of fines on the mess contractor for the lapses in food quality and hygiene. However, concerns persist among students, with demands for stricter penalties and decisive action against repeat offenders.


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Rahul Sasane, representing the University Student Struggle Action Committee, emphasized the need for a strategic approach to address the recurring issue, advocating for substantial fines and accountability measures to compel the mess contractor to improve food standards.