Expired food found in Boston school cafeterias
BOSTON -- A city councilor is demanding answers after frozen food was found past its prime in local school lunchrooms.
Parents expect school lunches to be fresh, hot and nutritious, but one Boston city councilor fears that’s not what children are getting.
“My heart sank. My instant reaction was I would not want any child in Boston to eat food that had been frozen for a year or two years or whatever the case may be,” said Boston City Councilor John Connolly.
Connolly randomly picked four Boston schools and took a look inside their kitchens. He said he found a lot of old frozen food.
“This is a cheese product and you can see very clearly expiration: 3/30/2010,” said Connolly.
He also took a picture of frozen beef from 2009.
“I don’t think that that’s good, that’s healthy at all and it’s not in the best interest of our children,” said one mother.
“I keep stuff in my freezer for awhile, so I don’t know if I’d keep track of the dates,” said another mother. “A lot of things can be frozen and used quite a ways after.”
Boston Public Schools said that mother is right.
“We follow USDA guidelines, which say that foods can be used passed the best used by best date as long as it’s frozen properly,” said Matthew Wilder, Boston Public Schools spokesperson.
But Connolly is concerned with the quality of the food.
“What is the nutritional value of a meal that has been frozen for close to two years,” said Connolly.
USDA guidelines suggest that frozen ground beef be kept for nine months and frozen cheese up to 18 months. But when it comes to getting the kids to eat healthy, old doesn’t always sound appetizing.
“I think it’s disgusting. I don’t want to eat 2009 foods,” said a student.
Boston Public Schools says school cafeteria workers are also trained to spot when food does go bad. The city council plans to hold hearings to address the issue.
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