That depends on the school and the food service management team at the school. Food safety at
schools has always been a concern and a priority of school administrators, even more so in lieu of the
increasing number of children developing food allergies. In a recent investigation by NewsChannel 5
Investigates (Nashville, TN), schools in the area were found to have recurring problems with food safety
violations, some of them critical.
The investigation included school cafeterias that serve over 50,000 children each day in the Metro
Schools. Violations, which include rodent droppings, roaches (dead and alive), insufficient food
temperatures, rotten food, and unsanitary food handling practices, have increased for three consecutive
years (121 in 2009, 152 in 2010, and 216 in 2011). Of those problems, proper food temperature (which
the Centers for Disease Control say is crucial to food safety), has been especially challenging in the
district. Children’s vulnerable immune systems makes keeping foods cold or hot enough a serious
concern for school cafeteria inspectors (in 2012, 63 schools had violated food temperature regulations).
Though school food service managers say it’s not difficult to maintain proper food temperatures, out of
145 Metro schools, 113 were cited at least once from 2008 – 2012, and over half were cited repeatedly
(from four to seven times).
Repeat offenders can be put on notice by the Health Department, and if the problems are not resolved
in subsequent inspections, shut down. Schools that have recurring safety problems can be proactive
and take steps to improve the systems that manage their food safety. One such measure is to automate
their facilities maintenance management program via computerized maintenance management
software (CMMS). Food processors provide the bulk of food to schools, which do very little of their own
food preparation on site (mostly just warming things up). And food processors have to comply with
exacting Safe Quality Food audits, OSHA and FDA standards for proper food storage and refrigeration.
To ensure they meet and exceed those standards, companies like Clement Pappas use X3 CMMS by
eMaint to support preventive maintenance of their processing facilities, which ensures that they
continue to supply healthy food to consumers and kids.
Dana Madama is the Online Marketing Manager at eMaint Enterprises, located in Marlton, NJ, which provides CMMS and EAM solutions for all of your maintenance and asset management needs.