After reading “Leo’s Stops Offering Organic To Go” (THE HOYA, Oct. 17, 2008, A1) about Organic To Go food no longer being offered at Georgetown University, I felt compelled to communicate directly to the students. I would like to make it clear that we have seen absolutely no evidence of a connection between Organic To Go products and the recent norovirus incident at Georgetown University’s O’Donovan Hall dining facility, nor do we have any reason to suspect that Organic To Go’s food was related to the outbreak. The recent statement in THE HOYA by a Georgetown spokesperson to the contrary – suggesting there was reason to suspect a link to our product – is completely unfounded and irresponsible.

As stated in the article, all Organic To Go food is prepared in a central commissary kitchen, and we served food prepared at this commissary kitchen to thousands of customers (not only at Georgetown, but through our catering operations and in Organic To Go cafes) and received absolutely no complaints or indication of concern from any of our customers.

Organic To Go has asked the university to retract its statement and make it clear there has been no link between our food and the norovirus outbreak, and we are anxiously awaiting a response.

The entire experience after the closing of Leo’s has been quite disappointing to us, as we worked tirelessly to support this program and Georgetown’s green initiatives. We were proud of our association and, at the request of the university, offered Georgetown students an organic alternative for their meals. As was seen in the block long lines waiting to get into our little Grab `n’ Go section, it was clear that our initial efforts and menu selections were appreciated and enjoyed. To support this we provided a full-time team member on campus at no cost to serve up education about our sustainable initiatives, and we too enjoyed interacting with and providing food to you. While we see the norovirus as a terrible, unfortunate outbreak, we cannot and will not take responsibility for an incident that has no link to our company.

Jason Brown

CEO, Organic To Go

Oct. 22, 2008

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