School district in Tennessee accused of serving lunch meat from 2009 in cafeteria

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HAWKINS COUNTY, Tenn. – Students at a school district in Tennessee were served meat from 2009 at school cafeterias.

The meat had been in the freezer for several years before being served last week. It’s not clear if it was tainted. There are currently no reports of any students getting sick.

Michael Herrell is a parent and Hawkins County commissioner. He got a picture on Thursday of a pork roast from a cafeteria cook at Joseph Primary School.

“It just very upsets me that these kids are going to school to get that meal, it just didn’t go over well with me,” said Michael Herrell, parent and county commissioner.

Herrell said a cook at Cherokee High School also told him the meat was bad – but was told by the manager to cover it with gravy to give it a better taste. Only one school in the county didn’t serve the pork roast.

The USDA guideline for quality and taste for roast is between 4-12 months.

Steve Starnes, Hawkins County Director of Schools, said they plan to follow these guidelines and implement new procedures.

“We also began inventory on all of our frozen food items to make sure,” Starnes said. “We’re not going to be incorporating not only the package date but also the delivery date on our inventory items, make sure we know exactly when those items came in.”

Starnes also said each school will have random inspections quarterly. He said inspections will take place at two schools at a time to make sure inventory is going properly and this incident doesn’t happen again. He said he’s unsure how meat that old was still in all the schools’ freezers.

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