University closes food outlets after quality complaints

PUBLISHED : Friday, 03 July, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 03 July, 1998, 12:00am

Students and academics at Hong Kong University have been deprived of food for thought after the closure of the canteens yesterday.

About 60 staff from the three canteens on the Pokfulam campus, including administrators, clerks, chefs and cleaners, were given the boot two days ago.

Another canteen administered by the university in the Prince Philip Dental Hospital in Western was also shut, leaving only limited service at the Chong Yuet Ming Amenities Centre during the summer vacation.

A university spokeswoman said the closure came after the catering office was disbanded following complaints about food quality.

'We aim to be more cost-effective in running the canteens, which used to be operated by the catering office with staff recruited by the university,' she said.

'We decided to contract out the canteens to raise the service quality and achieve better cost effectiveness. Most tertiary institutes have done so.' But she could not say when the new service would start despite there being only a handful of establishments offering alternative meals in the Mid-Levels area.

David Ng Ka-shun, student union internal vice-president, said he was shocked to learn of the closure.

'The university did not inform us about this in advance. We only realised what had happened when we saw the notices posted outside the closed canteens,' he said.

Mr Ng added: 'The union had received complaints about the food in canteens. Some students found cockroaches in their dishes.