Schoolkids Served Six-Year-Old Lunchmeat

1 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Meat from 2009 served at school cafeterias.

The Hawkins County School District in East Tennessee has reportedly launched a new district-wide meat inspection program after apparently serving six-year-old pork to their students. “It’s not clear,” WATE reports, “if it was tainted.” Michael Herrell, a parent and Hawkins County, Tenn. commissioner, alerted school district officials to the old meat after he was texted a photo of the six-year-old pork by a cafeteria worker last week, the Nashville Sun Times reports. ROGERSVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — An East Tennessee school district served years-old pork to students for lunch and is now implementing new food-handling procedures.

Hawkins County officials acknowledged its cafeterias dished out the flaky, six-year-old slabs last week, after a lunchroom worker at an elementary school leaked photos of the mystery meat. He was also apparently told by a cook at Cherokee High School that “the meat was bad,” but that cook was allegedly “told by the manager to cover it with gravy to give it a better taste.” Hawkins County Director of School Steve Starnes told reporters that a new inspection system has been implemented at schools across the district to prevent a future mishap.

The agency says frozen meats are safe indefinitely. “There were some meats with dates of 2009, ‘10, ‘11 in the freezer,” Starnes told WBIR. “Our child nutrition supervisor had the cafeteria managers look at the meat, do the tests, and see if it was OK. Hawkins County Commissioner Michael Herrell says he received a call from a concerned cafeteria worker about the old pork, and he raised questions about the food’s safety. The decision was made to serve it.” Boston residents were appalled in 2011 after an inspection revealed beef, pork sausages, cheese, and other food in school warehouse freezers that dated to 2009.

According to the Kingsport Times-News, the Department of Agriculture quality chart recommends eating frozen roasts within 12 months, but it says frozen food remains safe indefinitely. U.S. schools are increasingly passing on the so-called “pink slime,” a lean, finely textured scrap-beef product treated with ammonium hydroxide or citric acid to kill bacteria. In the 2013 fiscal year, schools bought 392,000 pounds of ground beef containing the soylent pink through the National School Lunch Program—down from 7 million pounds the previous year, Bloomberg reported.

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