BOSTON (CBS) — There is growing concern for the food kids are getting in Boston public schools after a surprise check of four of them found expired food in every cafeteria.
Boston City Councilor John Connolly uncovered the problem after he said he got a tip and went to four schools. There he was given access to the freezers in the kitchens and found the expired food.
“Here we’ve got a cheese product. Expiration date March of 2010; so coming up on a year past the expiration date,” Connolly said as he pointed to pictures he took inside the schools.
WBZ-TV’s Peg Rusconi reports.
Connolly says he is not concerned about the safety of the food, saying that it does not appear the food is contaminated, but he questions how nutritious is the food that’s been frozen for several years.
“In some cases, the meal at BPS is only meal or best meal. And if you’re giving food that’s been frozen for two years, what justice are we doing for them?” he asks.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030′s Bernice Corpuz reports.
Food service staff told WBZ that the handwritten dates on the boxes are when the food was received from a Wilmington warehouse. Those dates are often long after one of the other manufacturers’ dates on the box.
The USDA defines “expiration” and “use-by” dates as the last date the manufacturer recommends a food be consumed to ensure peak quality and nutrition. There’s also a “best-if-used-by date,” after which the USDA says a food can still remain wholesome with most of its nutrients.
These guidelines show how long foods should be frozen; in some cases like carrots and corn it’s years. In others like ground turkey it’s months.
Connolly says he’s requested all the relevant records, and city council will schedule a hearing.