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Health Inspectors Crack Down on McGill University’s Beloved Samosa Sales

A small student group was threatened with a fine for serving the snacks at room temperature

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Posted by BUGS McGill on Tuesday, October 22, 2019
A typical samosa sale at McGill (although this was not the group targeted by health inspectors)

Samosas are off the menu at McGill University, after health inspectors cracked down on student groups selling the Indian snacks.

Providing a popular, ultra-cheap snack (or even meal) for McGill students, samosa sales are commonplace at the university’s downtown campus, sold as fundraisers for numerous student groups and societies for around $1 each.

But after one student group had a run-in with a Montreal health inspector last week, those Indian pastry pockets have evaporated from hallways and public spaces on campus.

Per the McGill Tribune, two city inspectors were on campus for a routine check of Soupe Café, a food service provider on the campus. At that time, they noticed a samosa sale for the group McGill Students for China Care, and ordered a trio of students running it to shut the operation down, with a fine possibly on the way (the Students’ Society of McGill University, or SSMU, will cover the fine, as it oversees the group in question).

The inspectors took multiple issues with the sale — samosas were being sold at room temperature, and under food safety laws, they should be served cold or hot, as they contain cooked vegetables. The inspectors also took issue with a lack of utensils being used to serve the samosas, as well as the storage of them, in a cardboard box (before this incident, such an approach was standard at most samosa sales on campus).

While the samosas at such sales typically come from a licensed food provider, such as Pushap in Côte-des-Neiges (or, according to some students, a mysterious entity dubbed “samosa man”) city inspectors declared that service standards still apply to students — that means student groups will need to serve them hot, and using gloves and hair nets.

According to CBC, the sales are on hold for now, but SSMU will create new rules for samosa sales, and help ensure all sales are up to code — although it’ll cost student groups $25 per sale — roughly 25 samosas.

McGill University

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