Jell-O and mouse poop in a school cafeteria

There’s really nothing like high school cafeteria Jell-O – especially if that Jell-O mix has mouse poop in it or near it.

That’s exactly what was found as the kitchens at James Buchanan High School and Middle School in Pennsylvania failed the most recent health department inspections, with the state citing mouse droppings near food and other violations.

Both schools were cited for not having an adequate space for employees to wash their hands. Mouse droppings were found in both locations.

Justin Flemming, spokesman for the Department of Agriculture, said the droppings were a small amount in a contained area. In the report at the middle school it states open bags of Jell-O mix were "adulterated" by the droppings.

Tuscarora Business Manager Eric Holtzman said, however, that the mixes were in sealed bags that were contained in a box. Holtzman said the droppings were in the box but were not found in the bags of mix.

"Mice in the country are a problem," said Gertrude Giorgini, who operated the kitchen for Tuscarora for 23 years before retiring eight years ago.

Giorgini also questioned the district’s decision hiring a food management company, rather than keep food services in house. She said that many management companies won’t keep as close of an eye on food safety and cleanliness at a facility as people who are employed by the school district.

"You never want to be written up by the Board of Health," Giorgini said.