WASHINGTON COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL)- Officials at Washington County, Tennessee Schools have apologized after an apparently small amount of mold was found on a child’s lunch. Now – they’re making changes to ensure this doesn’t happen again.
Washington County Schools’ Nutrition Director Caitlin Shew tells us that serving healthy and delicious food to students is their top priority.
They’re disappointed this slipped through the cracks despite safeguards already in place, and all food being examined before it’s served.
Parent Kerrie Aistrop said she got a call from Jonesborough Elementary’s principal on April 29th.
“My son was eating a hot dog, and he took a bite out of it, and he spit it out on his plate. In the end, he asked one of the teacher’s aids to come because it was molded,” Aistrop said.
Officials with the school system said the bun was not expired and that the food was delivered that day.
“If one hot dog bun out of the school system is molded, how is there not more,” Aistrop said.
Shew said they’re confident this was an isolated incident, and once the issue was brought to the staff’s attention, they checked the other food and no other buns had any type of mold on them.
Aistrop’s 10-year-old son was given a new meal and was feeling fine.
“Everyone was very apologetic, but I’m not blaming anybody, but I just want to make sure stuff like that doesn’t happen again,” Aistrop said.
Shew said – staff will be doing more thorough inspections of the food when they receive it from the distributor and before it’s put on the serving line.
“This issue can be attributed solely to human error and we will continue to work hard and make sure this does not happen again,” Shew said.
Washington County School’s Nutrition Director Caitlin Shew sent the following statement on Wednesday:
“After investigating the incident it was discovered that a student did receive a bun that appeared to have a small amount of mold on one side despite the product having a good expiration date. I can assure you it was an accident and safeguards are in place to protect students from this type of oversight. All food is examined before it is placed on the lunch line.
I am confident this was an isolated incident, once the issue was brought to the staff’s attention, the remaining product was examined and no other buns were found to have any type of mold. The student was given a new meal and seemed to be satisfied and understanding of the issue.
I can assure you that all Washington County Schools Nutrition employees work extremely hard every day to serve the students in our district high quality, safe, healthy, and delicious meals. Washington County Schools Nutrition serves over 3700 students a healthy lunch every day and while we are disappointed that a compromised product made it through our inspection process, I have full confidence in my staff and their ability to prevent issues of this type in the future. Rest assured, a more thorough examination will be done moving forward in hopes to eliminate future discrepancies.”
When Shew spoke to News Channel 11’s Justin Soto she said this is the first time something like this has happened during her time with the school system and that they follow all food safety guidelines required by the state.
Shew went on to tell us – Jonesborough Elementary scored a 100 on their two health inspection reports this year.