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Expired food in public school lunch programs


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Expired food in public school lunch programs

greygarious | Mar 5, 2011 10:36 AM

This was the TV news scandal-du-jour here in Boston earlier this week. Here's the Huffpost version:

I am fuming over this tempest-in-a-teapot. The schools point to USDA guidelines which maintain that the food is safe. Sure, there may be somewhat less nutritional value in the packages that aren't used till a year or two beyond their "best by" dates. But our schools have major academic and infrastructure problems. They do not need the added expense of discarding this food or funding studies to assess the seriousness of the "problem".

Surely many parents who are fretting over this are taking their kids to McDonalds and getting salty, high-fat, takeout for dinner on a regular basis, when they are not heating up frozen fish sticks, chicken nuggets, or pizza rolls for the little darlings' suppers. For children whose parents DO home-cook healthy, balanced meals, a 2-yr old frozen pizza for a school lunch will not adversely affect their health any more than a just-produced one will.

Do you automatically discard canned, boxed, or frozen food that is undamaged, just because the magic date has passed? Not me. I am also offended that the rules for the annual food drive run by the U.S. Postal Service disallow dented cans and shelf-stable foods that are beyond their expiration dates. If they're good enough for me, they're good enough for people who need assistance feeding their families. Also, I am old enough to have grown up before there were dates on food packaging. End of rant.

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