Tennessee Schools Caught Serving ‘Foul,’ 6-Year-Old Pork To Kindergarten Students

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Blake Neff Reporter
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A school district in eastern Tennessee was put in an unsavory situation Wednesday after it was caught serving students six-year-old pork.

According to local WATE news, on April 22 students with the Hawkins County school district were served meat that was put in a freezer all the way back in 2009. That makes the meat so old that it predated the birth of the county’s youngest students. It also predated the Healthy, Hunger-Free Schools Act, Michelle Obama’s initiative to overhaul nutrition standards in schools.

In one case, a cook at Cherokee High School noticed that the meat tasted foul, but was told to simply cover it up by slathering on additional gravy.

Fortunately, it appears that no students became sick from consuming meat that in some cases may have been older than they were. According to the Department of Agriculture, as long as meat remains perfectly frozen it can remain safe to eat almost indefinitely, although its taste and texture will decline within a few months.

The mistake went public after parent Michael Harrell was sent a picture of the meat by a cook at Joseph Rogers Primary School, apparently the only school in the district that decided not to serve the meat. Harrell said the mistake was appalling, because many young children may not be able to tell that food has gone bad.

“These high-schoolers – they understand if they see something they are not going to like they don’t eat it. But when you get to these kindergartners, first- and second-graders, do they really know if the meat is bad or not?” Harrell told WBIR News.

The school system said it has launched an inspection to make sure no more ancient meats lurk in its freezer, and it said such inspections will henceforth occur quarterly.

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