CARRIZO SPRINGS, Texas – “Would you like a side of rat with your black bean burger?”
A dead rat on the floor, cases of “chewed” hamburger buns and droppings everywhere all left parents’ stomachs turning, and demanding to know what school administrators were going to do about it.
“They should be able to have healthy edible food in a clean kitchen,” parent Victoria Caballero tells Fox 29.
“If a restaurant had rats or mice, they would get closed down,” she said, according to KENS.
She says when he called the school to learn more, they never answered the phone.
They didn’t call her back, either.
After the photos began circulating, school administrators sent a letter home to parents saying:
Recently we have received reports of a rodent situation in the kitchen area of the cafeteria. Immediately, the following plan of action was put in place:
- Glue Traps (Maintenance Dept.)
- Contracted Professional Exterminator Co.
- Thoroughly Cleaning every morning
- Disposing items that might have been contaminated
- Cafeteria manager will provide sack lunches with food coming directly from the storage room instead of using food from the kitchen floor
It’s unclear how telling parents the school will stop “using food from the kitchen floor” will ease concerns.
Nevertheless, despite the photographic evidence — and the admission that there was a glaring problem without explaining how it got that bad in the first place — some parents defended school administrators.
“I do think they’re taking action, they’re taking responsibility,” mother Maggie Wilkinson tells Fox 29.
“We have wonderful teachers a wonderful school system as far as the principals,” she said.
It wouldn’t be the first time rodents have feasted on the new “healthy” lunches promoted by first lady Michelle Obama.
Last December, San Francisco schools reported widespread problems with rats in school kitchens. CBS 5 reported:
A San Francisco Examiner review of health inspection data shows many rodent issues began in 2013, the same time more fresh food was introduced into schools as part of the food lunch reform popularized by First Lady Michelle Obama.
The Examiner also cited a report by the district’s Student Nutrition Services as noting “With the increase in breakfasts served, there has been an increase in waste,” which attracts more rodents.
Carrizo Springs parents say if it wasn’t for the photos being posted on social media, they wouldn’t have known about the problem at the Texas school.