Authorities are looking into how food is being prepared at one of the schools in Hartford after concerns were raised by students and parents.
A few students at the Capitol Region Education Council Two Rivers Magnet High School complained after they were served hamburgers “with discoloration on the patties.” School officials said the students “had the opportunity to exchange the meal.”
"Like sometimes you'll have Jamaican beef patties and you open it up and its nothing like Jamaican beef patties," Two Rivers Magnet High School senior Joseph Sinopoli said. "It's like nothing you've ever seen."
Two Rivers Magnet High School junior Tyler Drennen said he was tired of what's on the menu. Drennen said he pays $3.75 for a lunch.
Drennen said he took out his cell phone and snapped photos of his lunch. And there is no filter.
"There's insects in a lot of them," Drennen said. "So many times students have insects or mold and it's just like crazy."
After reviewing the food, Hartford Public Schools said they determined “the discoloration was caused by the method used to heat the patties, but that the food did not pose a health risk.”
"The hamburger was fully cooked and at no time was there a food safety or sanitation issue with the product. For food safety purposes, all protein products served in the district are fully cooked; the district does not prepare protein items from a raw state," Hartford Public Schools said in a statement on Friday.
Hartford Public Schools said they are “working with the manufacturer to determine optimal preparation procedures and ensuring training for all staff.” School officials said they are also looking into the produce served over those days.
Drennen said he has seen a dead fly on a piece of lettuce, a rotten orange, some questionable strawberry's and a multi-colored burger on a stale bun.
"It's hard to see a business so good as CREC just sometimes treat the students like no one you know," Drennen said.
Some parents say they're kids have complained for a long time.
"I stopped drinking the milk my Junior year because I remember one time I was drinking the milk and it was just like hard jello in my mouth," Jonathan Piedrasanta, a senior at Two Rivers Magnet High School, said.
HPS Food and Child Nutrition Services provides food services at CREC Two Rivers Magnet High School. They have provided food services at the school since Two Rivers moved into the Learning Corridor campus two years ago.
“We carefully choose the products for our school lunches with nutrition as our foremost concern. At times, the product or our preparation process is not up to our standards. We have taken immediate action to rectify the situation. Food quality and safety is of upmost importance to us and we take these matters very seriously," Senior Director of Food and Child Nutrition Services Lonnie M. Burt said in a statement on Friday.
The Two Rivers Magnet High School is part of the Capitol Region Education Council, which provides tuition free schools to the Greater Hartford Area. Capitol Region Education Council said the safety of food served to their students “is very important” and they were “sorry if any students were upset by the meals served this week.”
"Having a quality lunch is key to getting a quality education. That is why we will continue working closely with Hartford Public Schools to fully determine what happened and make sure that students are served nutritious, healthy meals so they can focus on learning," CREC said in a statement on Friday.
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