Vegi lunches halted

    The vegetarian lunches served on the second floor of the Student Center were suspended because the student organization providing the lunches violated UCSD food service rules, university officials said.

    The Vegetarian Club and Vedic Culture Society, a registered student organization that hosted hot vegetarian lunches three times a week at UCSD, was told that they had violated a campus health code that states “”temporary food facilities may only be operated three days per quarter.”” According to University Centers Director Gary Ratcliff, organizations that serve more frequently than a temporary food facility are required to adhere to stricter serving regulations.

    “”There are health code requirements as to what type of facility you need to have if you’re giving food out three times a week,”” Ratcliff said. “”Once you get to a certain threshold, you’re almost a full-fledged restaurant and you’re held to stricter health code regulations.””

    According to Jon Schmidt of the Environmental Health and Safety Department, the vegetarian lunches were on par with the health codes applicable to temporary food facilities. Schmidt said the food was regularly prepared at a facility in Pacific Beach and that he was assured by the group’s cooks that food was prepared, transported and served under the guidelines for temporary food facilities set by EHS.

    Phone calls to Goura Perey, a principal member of the Vegetarian Club and Vedic Culture Society, were not returned by press time.

    Ratcliff said the complaint was originally voiced by Rob Porter, the owner and operator of Porter’s Pub. Ratcliff contends that Porter had a legitimate concern to raise the issue as he must figure the costs of abiding by stricter health regulations while paying rent and maintenance for a permanent establishment into his food prices.

    “”[Porter] is paying rent to have a presence on this campus,”” Ratcliff said. “”At some point, it’s no longer a level playing field when we’re putting independent restaurant owners who are paying leases, rent and utilities at an unfair disadvantage.””

    Porter said that it was unfair to serve food without following the campus codes.

    “”When I went up to the second floor of the Student Center, it looked a lot like a restaurant for business,”” Porter said. “”The profits from my restaurant support my family, and it’s unfair that I have to follow certain rules when others aren’t.””

    Porter said he was aware of the club’s popularity and that he had approached the organizers of the vegetarian lunches about using the pub’s facilities to serve vegetarian lunch and about adding new vegetarian options to the pub’s menu.

    The vegetarian lunches, which were served three times a week at the Student Center, were free of charge, but the club requested a $3 donation. Frequent patrons of the Vegetarian Club and Vedic Culture Society’s lunch events were disappointed the club’s regular service was discontinued at UCSD.

    “”I’m upset that it’s gone,”” said staff member Kathy Reed. “”The food was good and cheap. As a vegetarian, I really appreciated another option to the food co-op.””

    Donate to The UCSD Guardian
    $2505
    $5000
    Contributed
    Our Goal

    Your donation will support the student journalists at University of California, San Diego. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment, keep printing our papers, and cover our annual website hosting costs.

    More to Discover
    Donate to The UCSD Guardian
    $2505
    $5000
    Contributed
    Our Goal