Monday, February 11, 2008

I Still Won't Let Them Eat The Burritos, But I'll Consider a Fish Stick

Hey - remember that little tirade I went on last week, about the sick cows and the bad people that cut them up and fed them to our schoolchildren? I mentioned that I had already sent an email to our superintendent voicing my concerns and essentially demanding to know precisely what cow part was in which box of meat and exactly which school's freezer that cheeseburger was sitting in. I wanted to know how soon I needed to break into my local pharmacy and steal all of their anti-salmonella serum.

I'm happy to say that I got a prompt response, and it didn't say "Go away" or "Stop bothering me" like most of my emails do. Instead he acknowledged my concern, thanked me for my support and promised to forward my note to the head of food services for the entire district.

And guess what? He did, and I received a phone call from the deputy food services director that same day, who stayed on the phone with me for a good half hour going over exactly what the district was doing in light of the controversy. He explained that the USDA had put a hold on all food items that were suspected to have come from Westland Meat Co., and that until the hold was lifted all individual school districts couldn't touch any of the products to do individual testing or to begin the process of tracing the meat.

He did assure me though, that the district has it's very own state-of-the-art testing lab (who knew?) and that rigorous testing is done on a sampling of school cafeteria food every day. Since nothing unusual had ever come up in any of Westland's products in the past, it was highly unlikely that contaminated meat was being passed on to our kids. But he assured me that all meat products were being pulled from school menus and that all contracts with Westland had been suspended indefinitely. Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to ask him why some of the cafeteria ladies wear hair nets and some wear shower caps, but it didn't seem too urgent at the time.

While I'm sure there's a certain amount of spin involved in his information, I did feel better after talking to him and not so ready to check my kids into the local ER for a full-body scan. And I do give the school administration some props for responding to my inquiry, and not just forwarding my number to the LAPD for a background check and a psych evaluation request.

But I'm still not letting my kids eat in the cafeteria, at least not until the hold is lifted and I see some test results. Okay, maybe a fish stick. But wait a minute - ARE THOSE DOLPHIN SAFE AND MERCURY-FREE?

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7 comments:

gorillabuns said...

i liken fish sticks to mystery hot dogs. lips and ass.

landismom said...

Good for you! And that's quite a responsive district you've got there. I'm not sure if I'd get as good a response if I emailed my superintendent!

Karen Sugarpants said...

Your kids get to eat at SCHOOL? We don't even have a cafeteria! They eat homemade lunches (which is fine) at their desks. It's kinda gross BUT the kids have to spray and wipe the desks after. And we all know how well kids clean up.
*rolls eyes*
Good for you in getting some answers - that's more than most parents would do I think.

Jodi said...

You rock! You should run for the school board or something.

Daisy said...

Kudos to you for taking action -- and kudos to the district for taking your concern seriously. And the fish sticks? My students usually pass them by in favor of a PBJ or salad. :)

shaygo said...

you're amazing -- i respect you for both your love of coffe, your sweatpants wearing and you activism on behalf of your children's health.

you should really just become a superhero now. when can we design your emblem?

Janice (5 Minutes for Mom) said...

Impressive that you got such great attention! Let's just hope the meat gets it too! :)

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