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 food is safe. I understand after attending the School Lunch Program Convention that those Smucker’s Crustables aren’t the same ones we buy at the grocery store. There’s a lot of thought as to what goes into a school lunch.
Our school system is not as vigilant about food expiration dates as they should be.
Maybe expired food has somewhat less nutritional value than the “best by” dates, but as a parent, I’m trusting the school not to put my child’s nutritional or health at risk.
Are we serving expired food to save money?
It should be noted that our city school lunches are free to all students. The funding to cover this expense will come from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, as Henry County qualified to take part 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, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
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?
That “Best By” date is 8-months ago.
At our house, we do 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 child while they are there. Food Safety should be a given.