City Council Looks Into Expired Food In Boston Public Schools

BOSTON (CBS) – The City Council is trying to find out why so much expired food has been found in Boston’s public schools.

The director of food and nutrition services for the schools was reassigned after inspectors recently found 280 cases of out-of-date food in 40 cafeterias.

WBZ-TV’s Peg Rusconi reports

Councilor John Connolly opened a two-part hearing on the issue Tuesday with a blistering attack on school food management.

“We are seeing a food and nutrition services department with little or no inventory management controls and a lack of coordination,” he said.

School Superintendent Dr. Carol Johnson also testified at Tuesday’s hearing.

“Let’s be clear,” she said. “The food we serve to our students is safe and let me take this opportunity to assure you that our dedicated and very hard working cafeteria managers and kitchen staff would never serve anything to children that they would not serve to their own families.”

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Jim Smith reports

The expired food has been removed from schools. More than 3,000 boxes have been set aside at the USDA storage warehouse in Wilmington where the food is kept, because it’s still unclear how old it is.

Connolly told WBZ-TV the food may not have been harmful, but it was fiscally wasteful.

“(There was) no coordination between the folks who set the menu and the folks who oversee the inventory. So it created a nutritional disaster for our kids and also a financial disaster for Boston Public Schools and for taxpayers.”

A second hearing will be held Thursday night at 6 in Roxbury.

  • Dianne Starkey

    Where was the Department of Education(DESE) Health, Nutrition and safety Division in all this? They are the folks who review school lunch. should this story go further?

  • Dianne Starkey

    Where was the Department of Education(DESE) Health, Nutrition and safety Division in all this? They are the folks who review school lunch. should this story go further?

  • emom

    Are they are trying to get the students sick, really someone was not paying attention when stock came in.. DID THEY EVER HEAR THE TERM ROTATE, gee Its bad enough stores pull this stunt, and leave older products on a shelf but behind new product when they stock the shelves, All are to pull the older stuff forward and stock the new stuff behind it…. GEE WHATS WRONG WITH PEOPLES MINDS, DO THEY EVEN HAVE A BRAIN I say make those in charge sit down and eat this out dated food, Have them take it home and feed their families. What idiots,.

  • response

    How come no parent outrage on this? School lunch in our district is 2.50.
    $50.00 per month. Roughtly a 9 month school year is $450.00 and they are giving kids food past the expiration date? How many kids got sick?
    3,000 cases of food without a date? Plus the 280 cases of food that was found out of date at the 40 schools. can you say waste? (Both food and money)

    • roadbowler

      It’s becasue the parents are too busy in their own lives to worry about the food their children eat, the quality of their education, the kids they hang out with, what music they listen to, what movies they watch. In their minds, that’s the government’s responsibility.

      Parents, today, act as if they are the first generation to EVER have children. Their problems are unlike ANY generation that has gone before, so they in turn know everything. In reality, they can’t tell you what their kids are learning in school, who their kids hang out with, what they do when they’re not around, etc. They CAN tell you ALLLL about last night’s The Bachelor or who’s leading in votes on American Idol. They can show you how to hack their IPhone that they are on 23 hours a day but they can’t help their kids when they need help with their math.

      Sorry, just needed to rant. I’m not saying parents are to blame. I’m saying that even if they knew about this, there would be no outrage. That’s sad.

  • Jerry McAlister

    It’s absolutely awsome (NOT!) that the person in charge got “reassigned”. How about fired! Oh wait, govt’ & political cronies don’t get fired, they get “reassigned”. Way to go! Keep using our tax dollars to pay inept people and keep going with “business as usual”. Let’s check all the schools in the state, not just Boston.

  • rmsbl4

    Were the 3000 cases that were put aside actually DESE assets or did they belong to the USDA since they are in a USDA storage warehouse?

  • Twocents

    I suggest that the investigation include looking at the delivery date from the supplier. If the school is rotating the deliveries while assuming that the newest delivery has more shelf life, that would be a mistake. Every item should have the dates checked upon delivery. It may take longer to check in, but my experience working in the foodservice industry has shown me to never assume that newer product is coming through the door. Even the manufacturer sends outdated product on occassion. If they are buying frozen product, it doesn’t mean it was supposed to be frozen. Warehouses routinely freeze refrigerated product that is going out of code and sell it as a frozen substitute. The problem is that sometimes these products are frozen after their sell by or freeze by dates. Some products get shipped out of code, and if the dates aren’t checked at the time of delivery, it’s your bad. I’m not saying that this is the case here, but I wouldn’t rule it out for a portion of the problem.

  • L. Mallette

    The best by dates on packaged/canned/boxed food items are not engraved in stone; but are guidelines.. As a trained food inspector, I know that as long as the integrety of the packaging material is not compromised; the food items are just fine and still nutricious past the use by dates.

  • Carol S

    I agree with L. Mallette, Some of the stuff was frozen. Was the Use by date for fresh product and by freezing it extends the use by date. How many of us do that at home with meat etc… However doesn’t the food service department have a way to use computers to track inventory? If they don’t they need something……

  • ckmom

    Boston is not the only city with this problem. I know for a fact that Manchester, NH is WORSE!!!

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