A school district in East Tennessee has finally started to take better care about what their children are eating in the school cafeteria, after serving them pork that was left in the freezer for around six years.
According to the media reports, the dates on the meat served to students in the Hawkins County district on April 22 expired back in 2011. Luckily, no child got sick from it.
Director of Schools, Steve Stars, claims that he had made sure that the inventory system was changed on 24th of April and that all the outdated items were thrown out. The frozen items with a good expiration date were kept and will continue to be prepared for students.
Something like this should never have happened, and Starnes is aware of it.
That is why he tried to convince the media he will not let it happen again by saying “I want to stress to students, staff, and parents that the safety and welfare of our students is the highest priority and all of our decisions and actions moving forward will continue to reflect this priority”, and adding “I, along with the members of my staff will always strive to make decisions based on the best interests of our students, staff and community.”
It is nice that he is making efforts to make a change for the better, but why did something like this need to happen in order for change to come?
The youngest students were eating pork that was almost as old as they are. A cook at Cherokee High School realized that the taste of the meat they were cooking for the kids was bad and that the meat is foul, but was told to neglect the fact and cover the bad taste with gravy.
As it turns out, people who were supposed to do something about it didn’t, and even chose to cover it up.
Although the Department of Agriculture claims that, if meat is perfectly frozen, the expiration date isn’t relevant and it can stay safe for consummation indefinitely, but some changes do happen, its taste deteriorates and it is simply not what we want to eat!
A worker at the cafeteria called Hawkins County Commissioner, Michael Herrell, to complain and warn about the safety of the food served there.
Thinking about the fact that these children maybe eat only at school and that these kinds of meals are far from nutritious and healthy, Herrell said “It just didn’t go over well with me when I heard we were feeding these kids meat that’s dated 2009.”
This whole situation went public after a cook at Joseph Rogers Primary School sent to Commissioner Michael Herrell a picture of the meat.
This was the only school in the district that didn’t serve the meat to children. Herrell said that the mistake is revolting, especially because young children can’t tell if the meat is good or not.
According to the state school system, an inspection has been launched to make sure mistakes like this never happen again and the parents have been assured that no more years-old meat will be left in freezers, waiting for children to eat it and get sick.