This is the stuff of nightmares for parents who trust academic institutions to serve their children safe foods.
A school lunch worker from Joseph Rogers Primary School in Hawkins, Tennessee sent a disturbing photo to County Commissioner Michael Herrell recently, showing the packaging of a pork roast. The meat was dated 2009.
It wasn’t served at Joseph Rogers, but several other schools in the Hawkins district provided it to students on April 22, according to The Huffington Post. The meat had been frozen since 2009 before being thawed out last month.
One school even made gravy to hide the meat’s “foul taste.”
“The actual woman making a stink about it said it smelled so bad they made gravy to put over the meat to give it a smell and give it a better taste,” Herrell said.
Tests did not reveal any harmful elements in the pork and there haven’t been any reports of children falling ill, although officials are still unsure whether or not the meat was actually tainted.
This incident has prompted the district to enact some changes.
“As material comes in we will be serving it in that time period and we will have a strict adherence to all USDA guidelines, meaning 12 months on meat,” said Director of Schools Steve Starnes. A meeting was held last night (April 30) to inform parents about the new guidelines.
Cafeteria workers will also be cleaning out all expired foods in the schools’ inventory, according to WBIR.