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School Food Expiration Date-Our Schools Serve Expired Food

Urgent Report: Our schools serve expired food! Learn about the risks & push for safer, fresher cafeteria meals. Read more now.

School lunch has never been a Michelin Star affair. I get that, but when my children tell me day after day that they are being served expired food in the school cafeteria for lunch, I begin to question where we draw the line.

My standards aren’t necessarily high, so I’ll refer to USDA guidelines that maintain safe food. After attending the School Lunch Program Convention, I understand that those Smucker’s Crustables aren’t the same ones we buy at the grocery store. There’s a lot of thought about what goes into a school lunch.

Our school system is not as vigilant about food expiration dates as it should be.

Maybe expired food has somewhat less nutritional value than the “best by” dates, but I’m trusting the school not to put my child’s nutritional or health at risk as a parent.

Are we serving food beyond the school food expiration date to save money?

It should be noted that our city school lunches are accessible to all students. The funding to cover this expense will come from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, as Henry County qualified to participate in the Community Eligibility Provision.

According to information provided this year by Feeding America Southwest Virginia’s “Map the Meal Gap 2017” report, detailing the fact that Henry County had a 14.1 percent rate of food insecurity. , food insecurity is defined as a lack of consistent access to enough food for a healthy, active life.

I recall the Seinfeld episode where Elaine brought “muffin stumps” to a homeless shelter and was chastised. When it isn’t a choice for a child, is our message that they only deserve sub-par foods?

For a few months now, my children have been telling us the food they serve in the school cafeteria is expired. Today (4/26/18), I received a photo of peaches served, the expiration date?

expired food being served in school cafeterias

That “Best By” date is 8-months ago.

At our house, we use the common sense approach to food, but in a school setting, whose common sense should we adopt and use? When it comes to food, I would want to err on the side of extreme caution.

As parents, we send our children to school to receive an education. We are trusting the school to protect our children while they are there. Food Safety should be a given.

About Julee: Julee Morrison is an experienced author with 35 years of expertise in parenting and recipes. She is the author of four cookbooks: The Instant Pot College Cookbook, The How-To Cookbook for Teens, The Complete Cookbook for Teens, and The Complete College Cookbook. Julee is passionate about baking, crystals, reading, and family. Her writing has appeared in The LA Times (Bon Jovi Obsession Goes Global), Disney's Family Fun Magazine (August 2010, July 2009, September 2008), and My Family Gave Up Television (page 92, Disney Family Fun August 2010). Her great ideas have been featured in Disney's Family Fun (Page 80, September 2008) and the Write for Charity book From the Heart (May 2010). Julee's work has also been published in Weight Watchers Magazine, All You Magazine (Jan. 2011, February 2011, June 2013), Scholastic Parent and Child Magazine (Oct. 2011), Red River Family Magazine (Jan. 2011),, and more. Notably, her article "My Toddler Stood on Elvis' Grave and Scaled Over Boulders to Get to a Dinosaur" made AP News, and "The Sly Way I Cured My Child's Lying Habit" was featured on PopSugar. When she's not writing, Julee enjoys spending time with her family and exploring new baking recipes.
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