With the beginning of the school year, inspections have been conducted at all the area school kitchens. These kitchens that turn out meals for children daily all passed, but there were some violations.
"We don't see anything that would put a student or staff at risk for foodborne illness," said Robert Landry, the administrator of the Board of Health.
The majority of violations had to do with handwashing stations and the exact mixture of sanitizer that is used on food services, according to the reports. Many of the schools that had issues with hand washing either had a station improperly set up or improper temperature of the water. The sanitizer — that is sprayed on many surfaces to ensure bacteria does not grow — must be mixed at proper levels. If it is too strong, people can become sick. If it is made too weakly it will not do its job, said officials.
"Historically, our public schools and the food service in particular have been in compliance with the state and federal sanitary code," said Landry. "Occasionally we may have a violation but they are always immediately corrected."
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The schools that were inspected along with any recorded violations and notes are listed below.
Marlborough High School
Notes: The kitchen was described as very clean with food handlers using gloves correctly. There was also excellent training of hand washers.
Whitcomb Middle School
Notes: “Very clean and organized.”
Richer Elementary School
Notes: Storage of spoons at the end of the line — it was impossible to take one without contaminating the others. Violation from handwashing sink water temperatures.
Notes: The sanitizer needs to be metered out in a more regular fashion. Water temperature for hand washing sink was too low at 96 degrees.
Notes: Sanitizer was an issue. There was mold on the ceiling by cooling fan in a walk-in cooler. The mold was staining from previous contamination from previous unit that had been installed. It was cleaned that night, said officials. There were problems with self closing door of the equipment. Handwashing technique and sanitizer not being all standard were noted.
There is a music room in the kitchen falling under people unecessary to the operation of the kitchen. This was noted as a food safety and security issue.
AMSA Charter School
Notes: The supervisor requested more food service training for staff.
Assabet Valley Vocational High School
Notes: Sanitizer was not metered out properly. Hot water was too hot — at 138 degrees — to allow for safe hand washing. Paper towels were not in a proper location. Personal items such as an iced coffee were found in the cooler with students food. Personal drinks must be in lidded containers. The premesis was very clean and orderly.
Epicurian Room at the Assabet Valley Vocational High School
Notes: 140 degree water was too warm to promote proper hand washing. Cooler next to grill was at 58 degrees — all food was thrown out during the inspection. Fresh herbs growing around the school shall not be used for paying customers — access by public allows for tampering.