Samosas reappeared once again on campus on January 16 in the hallowed hallways of McConnell Engineering.
Back in October, the SSMU banned hot food sales after a Montreal health inspector fined the organization several thousand dollars after a routine health inspection cited a club was serving samosas, McGill students’ favorite cheap lunch, out of unlined cardboard boxes.
Students mourned the loss of the samosas. However, shortly after a temporary ban, SSMU issued new guidelines which allowed student clubs to continue selling samosas along with other hot foods. McGill’s Heart 4 Heart chapter, a charity organization which funds surgeries for children in developing countries who have congenital heart defects, was one of the first (and only) student clubs to re-introduce the samosas, first on November 15.
The samosa sales are super successful… Students love samosas.
Now, samosa sales involve a bit more planning than past McGill sales: Quebec food safety regulations require samosas to be sold either hot or cold, meaning they are now sold on heated racks, on plates, or out of coolers. Sauce must be kept in a thermos. Students are no longer allowed to reach in and pick out their samosas; club members are the only people allowed to touch the food, and must wear gloves. In addition, student clubs now have to pay a $20 fee to make hot food sales on campus, whereas prior to the citation, clubs simply required approval from SSMU.
So, why are clubs continuing to hold samosa sales if it is now so much more difficult? Heart 4 Heart Vice President Julie Demers, who was serving samosas on January 16, explained why her club was willing to jump through hoops to continue selling samosas, when some other clubs have found the new regulations to be too much of a hassle.
“The samosa sales are super successful,” said Demers. “Students love samosas, and they’ll buy cartons of 12 to 20 of them.” Indeed, during Heart 4 Heart’s second sale on January 15, many students had come with their own Tupperware containers to carry dozens of them. Between classes, lines of almost 40 people stretched down the hallway.
Although there’s no rule disallowing other clubs from selling samosas, Heart 4 Heart may currently have a monopoly on the samosa sales — but it’s all for a good cause, of course. “It’s a great organization and I encourage everyone to get involved,” explained Demers. Happy samosa hunting!