Westford school lunches kept in poor conditions
WESTFORD, Mass. -- Sick students lead to a disgusting discovery in Westford. Their school lunch was kept next to insects and rodent droppings - And that's not all.
Rat droppings and urine on a box holding school lunch trays.
“It’s gross. It’s not something I’d want my kids eating at school,” said Julie Ferreira, parent.
The Board of Health started investigating when 70 students all missed school on the same day because of a stomach virus earlier this month.
And while the virus wasn’t caused by the bad conditions, what they found in the old rundown and apparently rat infested building is forcing the Westford School District to throw away more than $10,000 in food and supplies.
“In an old building like that I guess I wasn’t necessarily surprised that they would have found some rodent droppings, but that’s not acceptable. It’s not acceptable to them and it’s not acceptable to any of us,” said Westford Schools Superintendent Everett Olsen.
Olsen says no food in the freezer or in any of the cans was contaminated. Even the trays are wrapped in plastic.
“You think that with obviously multiple people going in to retrieve things that it would have been noticed before then or something would have been addressed previously,” said Diane Cadogan, parent.
Some photos show boxes containing peas dating 2008, but the superintendent says expired food was never served to students and never will be now that it’s all going in the trash.
“It’s the safest thing to do. I wouldn’t compromise the safety of any child,” said Olsen.
It will cost thousands to toss out, but parents say it’s well worth it.
“If it’s rat droppings and things like that, I think it’s a great decision,” said Pratima Vasiragua, parent.
The Westford superintendent says the reason they didn’t store the food at individual schools was just because there wasn’t enough room. He says now they will order is smaller quantities and will keep it at the schools.
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