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Your Child's School Cafeteria May Be Toxic

Considering the USDA's failure to enforce its own junk food rules, necessitating the involvement of Congress, I'm not at all surprised to learn about the lack of oversight regarding food safety at school cafeterias.

It's so bad, according to USDA data uncovered by the Associated Press, of the 94,000 public schools, 10 percent of cafeterias weren't seen at all by health inspectors and 29 percent (27,000 schools) were only inspected once during the 2005-06 school year. And some 7,300 schools reported no food safety data at all. Moreover, food safety inspections by the FDA fell by almost half from 2003-06.

Those numbers ought to alarm you, especially, if your child is one of 30 million who eat a lunch prepared in an American public school cafeteria. Unfortunately, Congress mandated multiple food safety inspections but failed to allot extra funds to pay for it.

These numbers, coupled with the meteoric rise in obesity levels among children, make it imperative that you take action to protect your child's health today. Get more ideas about how to make a difference at your child's school, by reviewing this article I posted last year from Dr. Susan Rubin and check out her site, Angrymoms.org.

USA Today March 16, 2007