By Raven Jordan
In a photo shared earlier this month in a Facebook post, a parent complained of moldy lunch items being served to her daughter at a Duncanville middle school.
The incident was reported to have happened at Byrd Middle School. Keandrae Banks, the parent who shared the post with the image of a molding pizza slice and sliced pears, said her daughter took the picture.
Other parents soon chimed in sharing that their children had similar experiences with their school-provided food.
Another parent shared that her son had thrown up after eating breakfast at school.
“The staff was the one that checked the food and found no issues, “It was not checked by the district and it was not checked by the health department.”
Breakfast in Duncanville ISD is provided to students at no cost and lunch is available for student purchase, according to the district’s nutrition services webpage. The page also states that meals are “prepared and transported to campuses daily ” and “menu items are made from scratch.”
Banks said she has another daughter enrolled in Duncanville ISD and she hasn’t been complaining of these issues. Her daughter and fellow classmates were told not to take pictures of the food while in line, according to Banks.
“I was in a process of trying to start a petition since Duncanville ISD was trying to make it look like this was a single situation with just me and my baby,” Banks says. “They’ve told these students, when they’re in line, they’re making remarks telling them you better not be taking pictures.”
Banks also reported that she spoke to the Duncanville ISD nutrition department requesting checks on the food at the warehouse, and they apologized and said they weren’t aware of anything that was going on.
“I requested that they go to the warehouse due to the fact that there was several people that came out on a Facebook post to say that they actually work at the warehouse and the food is out of date. I requested that they go to the warehouse and check for our daily food and to all required temperature checks.”
Despite comments and posts from other parents sharing similar experiences with the food, the district says no other health concerns have been made about the food. In an email exchange, a member of the district’s communications team told Dallas Weekly it appeared to be an isolated incident and shared what Child Nutrition has done.
“Child Nutrition has done the following:
- Contacted the manufacturer who is currently doing a quality control inspection and will notify us of their findings
- Verified the food was cooked according to specifications.
- Inspected remaining pizzas from the other boxes. No other pizza indicated any concerns.
- Reviewed sample plate and did not identify any issues with any served product. A sample plate is created for every meal served in our cafeterias. It is set aside and placed in the cooler in the event we need to examine the food within 7 days.
- Pulled & cooked as specified another box of the same product from the same manufacturer. Upon inspection, no concerns were identified.
- All pre-made products will receive additional inspection before cooked and served. “
Other districts have also had issues with students complaining of moldy lunches. Last year, Dallas ISD saw students walkout at Justin F. Kimball high School in protest of “being served what they described as “undercooked or moldy” food.”
Reports of moldy food also came from Geneva Heights Elementary and L.G. Pinkston High School around the same time.
“I just want a change in nutrition,” Banks says. “Our kids are required to be there eight hours a day. If they got extracurricular activities you have to leave them. You don’t allow us to drop them off food, but you want us to force them to eat moldy food. It don’t make sense.”