School district in Tennessee accused of serving old meat

ROGERSVILLE, Tenn. -- The Hawkins County school system in Tennessee is looking into claims that some students were served meat that was six years old.

According to ABC affiliate WATE-TV, the meat dated back to 2009, and it was served to students last week. It's unclear if the meat was tainted, and there have been no complaints of any student getting sick.

"They go to school, and that might be the only meal they get all day long, and it just very upsets me that these kids are going to school to get that meal," said Michael Herrell, a concerned parent and Hawkins County commissioner.

Herrell said he received a picture last week of that old pork roast from a cafeteria cook at Joseph Rogers Primary School. He said it was the only school in the county that didn't serve the dated meat. A cook at another school, Cherokee High, also told Herrell the meat they had was bad, but was told by the manager to cover it with gravy to give it a better taste.

"It just didn't go over well with me when I heard we were feeding these kids meat that's dated 2009," Herrell told WATE-TV.

The USDA guidelines for quality and taste for roast are between four and 12 months. Steve Starnes, Hawkins County director of schools, told WATE-TV they plan to follow the guidelines and implement new procedures.

"We're not only going to be incorporating the package date, but also the delivery date on our inventory items to make sure we know exactly when those items came in," said Starnes.

Starnes also said, beginning immediately, each school would have random inspections four times a year to make sure inventory is running properly. He is still unsure how meat that old was still in the schools' freezers.
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