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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Here's An Update On Wicomico County BOE Expired Food Situation

Joe -

I've been following the recent info on the expired food at the school cafeterias and I want to weigh in with my two cents.

Back in the late 70's & 80's, I was employed at the Health Dept. and one of my jobs was to inspect the school cafeterias. We were trained to check the dates on all food products to be sure that they were safe to serve. If we found one or two items with expired dates, we were to have the cafeteria manager open them, and then throw them in the trash. If we found a large quantity of an item, such as a crate of milk cartons, they were tagged, the manager was to call the supplier, while we were there, to have them come and get the crate and replace it. The out of date items had to be destroyed by the supplier (as I watched). This did not happen often. Back then the cafeteria workers actually prepared the meals and they were extremely conscientious of these issues. (Plus the food was MUCH better). As to out of date food being taken out of packages, rinsed and then re-packaged, this is not a safe practice. Rinsing off out of date food will not remove bacteria.

I'm sure the rules have changed since I was a food inspector and are more strict now. I can not imagine the Health Dept. encouraging the practice of rinsing off out of date food products and repackaging them

Thanks for letting me add my thoughts.


Anonymous said...

Your insight into this is appreciated. Thank you.
- A Concerned Parent

Anonymous said...

I may be wrong here, but I did not see anywhere that the practice of rinsing off expired food was ever promoted...the email clearly stated, "as these items get closer to the date, move your fresh fruit and/or vegetables around to serve before the date"....I don't get it. Am I missing something? Grocery stores do the same thing...they rinse their fresh fruit and vegetables all the time...mistakes happen. I have personally bought some out of date things at the grocery store before, not on purpose of course! Mr. Goslee clearly stated "SERVE BEFORE THE DATE". I repair restaurant equipment and have been in every school kitchen in Wicomico County as well as many area restaurants and I would definately say that the school kitchens are top notch...they are inspected more frequently by the Health Dept. and all the employees are properly trained and hold the necessary certifications.

Paladin said...

Dear Readers,

In regards to this post, please know that the professionals at the health department are the best possible way to attend to this situation.



Anonymous said...

And if you guys really want something done then pick up the phone and call the Health Department don't assume they read blogs for information.

Anonymous said...

Joe, I stumbled across an interesting website this morning:

Best Public Schools in MD

I decided to do a little research on the school on the list; more particularly, the Counties in which they operate.

Of the 100 schools on the list:
59 in Montgomery
31 in Howard
4 in Frederick
3 in Prince George's
2 in Calvert
1 in Worcester
O in Wicomico

I took it a step further and started looking at teacher salaries (Min to Max - Maryland Public Schools, 2013-2014):
Montgomery $46,410 to $105,707
Howard $45,971 to $80,405
Frederick $40,706 to $95,007
Prince George's $44,799 to $90,843
Calvert $45,046 to $99,110
Worcester $42,987 to $78,444
Wicomico $43,987 to $76,589

Given the much lower cost of living in Wicomico County, Teacher salaries for Wicomico seem to be on par with those Counties making the list. In fact, despite making less money, teachers would fair much better in Wicomico County over other counties due to the differences in cost of living.

So teacher salaries are likely not the cause as to why Wicomico didn't make this list... Let's look at cost per student for 2014-2015 (from County budgets)

Montgomery: $15,025
Howard: $14,274
Frederick: $16,813
Prince George's: $13,944
Calvert: $12,657
Worcester: $14,705
Wicomico: $14,338

Again, Wicomico comes in on par with cost per student being merely $687 shy of of the list leader, Montgomery County. If anything, Wicomico benefits from the lower general cost of being on the Shore thus making it's dollar stretch farther.

So what is the problem here? What do these counties have that Wicomico does not? ELECTED SCHOOL BOARDS! All of the Counties that made the list have an elected school board. This tells us that Wicomico can throw all the money it wants into "education" but that money is ineffective if it is mismanaged or poorly appropriated. There is absolutely no reason why we operate in the same State as these other counties yet are so sub-par. It isn't about money folks (well it is about money - SAVING IT!), it is all about leadership and quality decision making! I encourage everybody look into and support moving to an elected school board in Wicomico County - that would truly be a decision "for the kids"

Anonymous said...

The gentleman that sent the memo out about reusing out of date product should be fired and child endangering charges brought against him. The manager fired should be rehired since they followed his instructions. Time the Board step and and do the right thing to both of them.