A Tennessee school district is coming under fire for allegedly serving its students 6-year-old meat.
Reports say Hawkins County School District in Tennessee served students at multiple schools pork roast that had been in the freezer for some time (video below). The date on the meat was reportedly 2009.
Hawkins County commissioner and parent Michael Herrell says he was alerted to the old meat after a cafeteria cook at Joseph Rogers Primary School sent him a picture of it. Joseph Rogers was reportedly the only school in the district that chose not to serve the meat with the 2009 date on it.
A Cherokee High School cook was told by a manager to use gravy to recover the taste, knowing the meat was not fresh, the cook told Herrell.
“They go to school, and that might be the only meal they get all day long, and it just very upsets me that these kids are going to school to get that meal,” Herrell told WBAY. “It just didn’t go over well with me when I heard we were feeding these kids meat that’s dated 2009.”
Steve Starnes, Director of Schools for Hawkins County, says it is planning to implement new procedures going forward.
“We also began inventory on all of our frozen food items to make sure,” Starnes said. “We’re not only going to be incorporating the package date, but also the delivery date on our inventory items to make sure we know exactly when those items came in.”
Meat can stay safe to eat indefinitely if it's kept cold enough, although it tastes best when used within four to 12 months, notes the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Starnes noted that so far, no children have reported getting sick from eating the meat.
Photo Sources: WBAY, The Daily Beast