Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Ingredient Transparency Email Update

About a month ago I was directed to the Aramark website- on which it claims ingredient transparency already...

Upon request, we share with customers all ingredients that go into our final product.
-[love,] ARAMARK

So, I sent them an email that day suggesting that they may have been confused about their own policies.

A week and a day later I got a "thank you for your inquiry" response. (the exact email can be found here)

On April 15th, after waiting patiently two weeks for a response, I sent them this:

[representative's name],

It's been a couple weeks since I've heard from you in regards to the ingredient transparency claim made on the Aramark website. Are there any updates on that situation? Would it help if I contacted someone else?

Thanks a lot!


Since then, I've gotten this back:

That's right... a big white space. 
Well less than that, actually. I don't think most email sites will let you send blank messages. And even if they could, that might just take far too much effort. I'm sure they wouldn't want to lead me on.

So what do I have to do to be taken seriously? 
Is it too much to ask for a simple SELF CREATED POLICY to be followed?

I just want to know what's in the school cafeteria food.


  1. Sned an e-mail to Oprah. I mean that seriously.

  2. Also try direct contact by phone and mail to:

    Chairman and CEO
    Joseph Neubauer

    ARAMARK Tower,
    1101 Market St.
    Philadelphia, PA
    United States
    Phone: 215-238-3000
    Fax: 215-238-3333
    Toll Free: 800-272-6275

  3. What about students w/ food allergies? Are they not concerned that there might be a student with a deadly food allergy who would want this information? Isn't there huge legal liability for not revealing their ingredients & then potentially having a student get violently ill?

    Perhaps some of the students who do have food allergies could send Aramark requests for this information & see if they get better response. Or maybe their parents could send e-mail requests. They should provide this information to YOU in accordance with their own policies, but perhaps they would respond better to an adult.

  4. There's a guy in your country doing great things. Joel Salatin - he's all about the transparency of "food production"...

    Amamark are playing games with you Tara :(

    You're doing so much good btw.

  5. I agree with CJ and in fact I think I already commented and provided you the CEO's contact information. Forget the underlings. Send your letter via U.S. mail to the CEO. It will get a response. Executive letters, especially ones sent via US mail, are almost always given attention.

    Also, take screen shots of their website showing the policy. The easiest reaction for them to have is to pull down the language and pretend it never existed. Include the screen shots with your letter.

    If they still don't reply, write a letter to the better business bureau. Make a copy of it and send it with a copy of your original letter, again to the CEO of Aramark.

    If they still don't respond, send a letter to your state attorney general, and also the state attorney general of Pennsylvania (Aramark's home state). Make copies of these and send them with your original letter to the CEO.

    This is called an escalation plan. It works. Do it!

  6. Holy smokes - I just gave up on Aramark a couple months ago, after trying since September to get school lunch menu ingredient information so that I could make safe choices for my milk-allergic son. After months of back & forth emails & phone calls to Aramark & my school district, getting only spotty info & never enough to make even one meal choice on one day of school, my son & I agreed to just give up & stick with bringing in lunch from home.

    At yesterday's PTO Council meeting, I learned that 1) the district's contract with Aramark is multi-year, so we're stuck with them -but- 2) we have a new local Aramark coordinator, so I hope to try again in the upcoming school year. Hey, maybe I'll go ahead & contact her today :-) We've still got a month of school left...

    Off to read the rest of your blog!

  7. Here's a screenshot for you Tara....

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