In-depth: Uh-oh Sodexo

by Austin Callaway

Sodexo has received an “F” rating on their services and the quality of their food, according to

Sodexo tells consumers that they are “improving the quality of life.” Sodexo claims that they improve the quality of life by providing access to nutritious meals and helping provide productive environments. Sodexo states on its website, “Our experiences with our over 75 million customers each and every day enable us to develop Quality of Life services that reinforce the well-being of individuals, improving their effectiveness and helping companies and organizations to improve performance—every day.”

However, “Is Sodexo’s food bad for you” says the healthy lifestyle promised by Sodexo is lost in the poor quality of their food. Nutritionist Dr. Becky Maes, who rated Sodexo’s quality as an F, comes to the conclusion that Sodexo’s food “may sound healthy, but it is heavily processed and high in carbohydrates, fat, and chemicals.”  While Sodexo boasts a big name and has thousands of employers located in a number of countries Maes states that their services aren’t up to par.

Sodexo was founded in 1966 in Marseilles, France and is backed up by nearly 425,000 employees in 80 countries worldwide. When it comes to the U.S. they provide their services in 13,000 cites. The company has yearly revenue that in the U.S. alone is approximately $9.5 billion. Sodexo also has around 15 million consumers a day in the U.S., according to Sodexo.

But some FPU students share Maes’ opinion of Sodexo’s quality. “I experienced stomach discomfort in the beginning of the year and it was a problem for me because this was the main source of food for me on campus,” said freshman Monica Lombardi.

Maes’ review mentions side effects from eating their products including the side effects of stomach discomfort. She cited long term effects such as heart disease, obesity, hypertension, and “other side effects that are unknown due to the chemicals used in the food.”

“The food Sodexo provides has little taste, variety, nutritional value. In my opinion I don’t really think it’s food,” said freshman Katie Purves.

Maes points out an instance in 2013 in the UK where there was horse DNA in a frozen beef product sample. Maes continued to describe how their “whole grain pizza” that is described to consumers, is “not really whole grain.”

But the article has been questioned by Matthew Vaillette, FPU’s Sodexo Director. He explained that the piece lacks a “grading matrix or who the governing body was that applied this grading scale.” Vaillette also insisted that Maes lists her employer as Forevergreen International which is actually a multi-level marketing firm but she doesn’t mention any “past collective work experience or history,” that would help with her grading of the food services.

(Photo: Sodexo USA)

“As far as the article and website go, it has no impact on the services my team provides,” said Vaillette.

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