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Health Department Found 'Serious Violations' at Middle School Cafeteria This Week

The Health Department said an inspector found sandwiches and other foods out of appropriate temperature range at the Middle School yesterday.

The Wellesley Health Department witnessed "serious violations" this week in the ’s cafeteria including lack of sneeze guards, foods at unsafe temperatures and lack of proper staff supervision.

Holly Detroy, environmental health specialist for the Health Department, said she found several cold foods - including turkey, ham and cheese and tuna sandwiches - at "dangerously elevated" temperatures on Wednesday, the first day of school. Those foods were thrown out, she said. Also, Detroy found that there were no sneeze guards covering the pizza at Tuesday's pre-opening inspection.

Hot foods need to maintain a temperature of 140 degrees or higher, she said. Falling below that puts foods in a danger zone, which can accelerate bacteria growth. Cold foods need to be kept at 41 degrees or below.

Wellesley Public Schools has for food service for the 2011-2012 year, when in the past the school hired its own staff of 25 cafeteria workers.

Yesterday, Detroy could not get an answer as to how long certain hot sandwiches had been made available, according to Leonard Izzo, Wellesley’s director of public health.

Detroy said she also found that some cafeteria workers had not been properly trained to handle foods safely and they were not being properly supervised.

"Since their menu changes [daily], the staff aren’t properly trained in the safe handling of the food as far as keeping it hot or cold on the serving lines," she said. "The person in charge has to make sure safe food is being served and that their practices are safe."

Detroy said staff were not keeping temperature logs during the week, but have begun to do so today.

Detroy said cafeteria staff had forumlated "corrective action plans" and have made progress. Though, today, she found burgers were at 122 degrees, but staff had kept a log so they could demonstrate that the food had been taken out of temperature control for 10 minutes, and could therefore have been properly reheated.

Tobi Marram September 02, 2011 at 04:09 PM
My 7th grade son is already complaining about the food. He said the food was so much better last year. Chartwell's food quality does not compare to last year's middle school kitchen.
xrealtor September 03, 2011 at 11:55 PM
Another great decision by Ms. Berdell. Did we ever hear the results of the town finance committee audit regarding the school business office?
Red Rover September 04, 2011 at 02:20 AM
I am with you, xrealtor! Where are the results of the audit? More so, why is Ms. Berdell still holding her position after allowing this debt to have gone on for this long? Oh, I forgot, the School Committee has faith in their administration. Is this the faith our taxpayers, parents and students deserve? Besides the debt, is the Board of Health inspectioin another issue that Bella and her administration will sweep under the rug in support of Chartwells? Having a lunch line shut down is a serious offense. This administration better take a hard look at what they have brought into Wellesley Public Schools. Are the students really safe in the cafeterias? Maybe it is time to start cleaning up our Administration.

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