Students say they were served moldy, 'disgusting' food at school cafeteria

THOMASVILLE, N.C. (WGHP) – A Thomasville High School student says she was disgusted by what she and her friends were served at lunch on Wednesday.

Cell phone video shows a lunch containing molded food. In a separate clip, video shows a bug that the student claims crawled out of a friend’s lunch.The meals were prepackaged and provided by an outside company. They were not made by cafeteria staff.

“We were just talking about how gross and disgusting it was,” the student told FOX8. Although the lunches were packaged, the student says it should have been obvious something was wrong.

“As soon as we’d seen the bag, it was moldy and green and wet at the bottom. I knew something was up immediately,” she said.

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Students served moldy, 'disgusting' food at school cafeteria
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Students served moldy, 'disgusting' food at school cafeteria
A North Carolina high school student says she was disgusted by mold and bugs she and her friends found in prepackaged lunches they bought at school.
 
A North Carolina high school student says she was disgusted by mold and bugs she and her friends found in prepackaged lunches they bought at school.
 
A North Carolina high school student says she was disgusted by mold and bugs she and her friends found in prepackaged lunches they bought at school.
 
A North Carolina high school student says she was disgusted by mold and bugs she and her friends found in prepackaged lunches they bought at school.
 
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The student says school staff addressed the situation once it was brought to their attention – apologizing several times and allowing the students to get another lunch from the salad bar. The school also called the student’s father to apologize; however, he was also interested in an explanation as to how rotten food ended up in his daughter’s hands.

Thomasville City Schools Superintendent Dr. Patrice Faison was not able to verify whether the meals were checked ahead of time. However, she did tell FOX8 that the prepackaged meals were pulled immediately and the company was contacted to pick them up.

The students were served Locker Mates meals, a product provided by JA FoodService. The meals have a variable shelf life up to 6 months, according to the website. JA Foodservice told FOX8 that occasionally, product packaging can be damaged during shipping, but that customers are cautioned to inspect the product.

Below is the full statement provided to FOX8.

“JA Food Service recently was informed of an apparent incident in North Carolina involving meals for students packaged and distributed by JA Food Service to Thomasville High School.
JA Food Service is devoted to providing wholesome and nutritious meals to our customers and their students. JA Food Service prepares meals in such a way that product adulteration is not possible. However, occasionally product packaging can be damaged during shipping.

Every customer is cautioned to inspect and return any product that may be damaged. JA Food Service cannot and will not speculate as to what may have caused the problem alleged. We are conducting our own investigation into the matter to determine what happened and to assure the safety of our product delivered to the public.
JA Food Service creates and distributes over 2 million meals annually. The quality of our products and satisfaction of our customers is our primary goal. We are making every effort to address this matter with Thomasville school officials to determine what happened and promptly address any issues regarding the products involved.”

According to Faison, the company will provide a refund.

The student’s father told FOX8 that his daughter sent him a text saying a teacher reprimanded her at school Thursday for posting the video to social media.

When we reached out to the school’s principal and Faison regarding this, Faison told FOX8 that she plans to follow-up with school leadership to investigate that claim.

Despite the incident, Faison says she has the utmost confidence in the cafeteria manager and cafeteria director.

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