Bryan County school district is not among the 37 districts within Georgia that have begun to destroy approximately 380,000 pounds of potentially contaminated beef that was recalled last week.
Bryan County Schools Food Service Director Carole Knight said the school district was immediately notified, but hadn’t received any of the meat.
"All the cases of food that we get have certain lot numbers and this was a USDA product," Knight said. "I knew we hadn’t received any from that vendor, but we still checked to make sure. Most of the districts who had recalls seemed to be around the Atlanta area."
Knight said all the schools have a Serv-Safe manager, which helps make sure food is being kept up to code and at proper temperatures. She said districts have been using them for years, and they will soon be required in restaurant kitchens as well.
"Two of us here, including myself, are also certified to teach the Serv-Safe," she said. "Our number one priority is the safety of the food, we’re always checking temperatures. If we serve anything hot, we don’t save any leftovers."
The Georgia Department of Education said the Department of Agriculture recalled more than 140 million pounds of beef that originated from a California slaughterhouse. The plant is now under investigation for animal abuse, according to the Associated Press.
"Some of this meat was used for school nutrition programs around the country under a USDA contract. There were 37 school systems in Georgia that purchased products containing the recalled beef," said Dana Tofig of the GaDOE Communication Office in a Monday press release.
As of Monday, 32 of the 37 districts had notified the GaDOE they did have some of the products containing the recalled beef.
"There have been no reports of illness in our school systems related to the school lunch program," Tofig said in the release. "Some of the beef in question has been consumed. But USDA officials stress that there is a very low risk of illness, (because the) cattle went through the required pre-slaughter screenings."
Schools will be reimbursed for the cost of destroying the recalled beef, but it is still unclear whether or not the USDA will reimburse them for the lost food, Tofig said.
The Associated Press reported the meat was recalled after an undercover video showed crippled and sick animals being moved with forklifts. They reported this to be the largest beef recall in the U.S.