During school vacation week in February, City Councilor John Connolly received a tip alleging Boston Public Schools receives expired food from a USDA warehouse.
“Then I heard [on Tuesday] the director from food services was instructing cafeteria managers to pull specific meals with a June date on them,” said Connolly, who chairs the Council’s education committee. “At that point I said ‘I need to go see this with my own eyes.’
What Connolly saw yesterday morning was meat and cheese frozen in four school cafeterias for nearly two years in some cases.
“My stomach was in knots," he said. "I wouldn’t want this served to any child in Boston.”
The USDA says frozen food is safe to eat, but only recommends freezing uncooked beef for three to four months.
“But I’m concerned what the nutritional value is for food that’s been frozen for a period of years,” said Connolly, who called for a hearing within two weeks.
BPS spokesman Matt Wilder said the district follows all USDA recommendations and has launched innovative efforts to serve healthier foods.
“Our staff is very well trained to know if food is safe to eat or not,” he said. “They go through rigorous training before they’re allowed to work in the cafeteria.
“We have chefs come into the schools to work with cafeteria staff to make sure the foods of the highest quality and enjoyable to eat.”