Just in time for the new school year -- tens of thousands of pounds of possibly tainted ground beef destined for school lunchrooms all over the country narrowly missed hitting our kids' plates. Central Valley Meat Co. in California is recalling 58,240 pounds of ground beef processed for the National School Lunch Program because it may contain pieces of plastic.
Here's the real kicker: The plastic was found during safety inspections after customer complaints. There were no reports of illness from the recalled meat, but still. Does this mean our meat safety net failed? Shouldn't we have higher standards for our children's food?
The products were produced on April 1, which ... ugh, WTF! That's a long time ago. I guess it's been frozen all this time. But are you kidding me with the April Fools' Day? Sigh. I just cannot with the school lunches. You know?
But I'm fortunate to have that luxury. Not everyone else is. For too many kids, school lunch may be the only food they eat all day. And then we expect those same kids to ACHIEVE and study and behave themselves. If we serve our kids low-quality food, we're pretty much undermining our efforts to educate them. We should be trying to feed our kids the safest, highest-quality food we possibly can. Is this really the best we can do?
And I still don't see why we have to keep feeding our children meat if we're not willing to pay for adequately safe meat. If we have to keep costs down, there are cheaper, plant-based sources of protein and iron. Honestly, all this ground beef just seems like a gamble we actually can't afford.
Anyway, if you're curious to find out if any of this tainted beef has found its way to your kids' school, here's the info: 40-pound cases of 10-pound chubs of "Fine Ground Beef," establishment number Est. 6063A, case codes 6063A3091A or 6063A3091B.
Are you worried about the safety of your kids' school food?
Image via USDA/Flickr