New, improved food service lab open for business

PLATTSBURGH - The Food Service Laboratory used by the Food and Nutrition students at the State University of New York at Plattsburgh is now one professor Enamuthu Joseph is proud to show off.

Joseph, who also serves as chair of the nutrition program, said the previous facility, which was located in Ward Hall, hadn't been upgraded since 1958.

"It was a home economics department," she explained of the facility. "But as time went on, the home economics disappeared and they changed into Food and Nutrition."

Many attempts were made by Joseph to have renovations done to the laboratory, she said.

"So many times we talked about building a new lab or joining with the hotel and restaurant management," Joseph recalled. "But apparently nothing worked."

The previous lab is one that Joseph described best as "old."

"Things were falling apart. Things were not working," she said. "There was no air conditioning, so all the fumes were smelling up the lab ... The walk-in refrigerator was not working. We were trying to do whatever we can, but it got to a point where it has to be changed."

However, the old facility did not inhibit the students in their learning.

"Students were able to operate even in those conditions. I was conducting all the labs and everything," Joseph said. "But here it's all updated, so I don't have to worry about it for some time."

Then a year ago, a proposal was finally pushed through, and work began on the new facility, now located at Hawkins Hall, room 027.

It comes equipped with a new refrigerator, stoves and a large food preparation area with work stations to accommodate up to 20 students. It became usable to the Food and Nutrition majors their second week of the spring semester.

"The main thing is now I can show to the parents that we have a lab," said Joseph. "Earlier I could not show the lab because it was really old. But now I can proudly take them and show the parents."

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