Or so they say.
HACCP is short for, CYA – cover your ass.
A photo of food served at Central High School circulating social media has at least one student thinking about bringing his lunch to school for a while.
The photo, posted on Facebook and Twitter Monday, shows a student pulling back the lid of an individually packaged cream cheese to find the top covered in thick, green mold.
Isaiah York, a senior at Central, said it was his friend who found the cheese at breakfast. They took it to the principal, who then talked to the cafeteria staff.
“I was a bit grossed out about it, it made me a bit uneasy,” York said Tuesday. “When we opened it, I was a bit in shock to be honest. … That’s my first time encountering that.”
Dianna Choate, director of food services at MCS, said her staff called the manufacturer as soon as they saw the package. The cheese arrived at the school in individual, sealed packages and was within the expiration date, she said.
She said they opened several other containers and didn’t find another molded one, but threw them all away as a precaution.
The district is in the process of outsourcing its cafeteria staff to a national food service company, Chartwells. MCS spokesperson Ana Pichardo confirmed “this has nothing to do with Chartwells.” The company is set to fully take over operations after spring break.
Jammie Bane, a Delaware County Health department administrator, said the situation was brought to the department’s attention and is being investigated. Although the investigation is ongoing, Bane said he personally felt that it was not the schools’ fault because the product came prepackaged from the manufacturer.
“I feel it’s a shame that MCS is being made out negatively for something that could occur anywhere, at any time, whether a school, business, or personal home,” Bane said via email. “An incident occurring does not point towards a trend, and does not point towards the schools not caring or not taking actions in an effort to ensure it doesn’t occur again. As a matter of fact, our local schools excel at food safety.”
This isn’t the first time pictures of inedible food at Muncie Community Schools have been on social media. During a school board meeting last month, when the board was considering hiring Chartwells, board member Kathy Carey said she was “appalled” at pictures of rotten food that had been shared with her on social media.