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Arlington School Cafeterias Struggle To Meet Code

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By Michael Pope

In 2006, Arlington Public Schools hired a consultant to visit the county’s public school cafeterias. The consultant found numerous health code violations--everything from dead cockroaches to chemicals stored next to food.

Administrators put together an action plan and set out to clean up the county’s cafeterias.

But an analysis of three years of inspection reports since that time shows problems remain. Five schools logged more than 20 health code violations in the three-year period following the consultant’s report. And, according to documents from the Virginia Department of Health, problems at one middle school included paint flaking onto food surfaces and stained ceiling tiles in a dry storage area.

School Board Chairwoman Libby Garvey points to changes that have been made since the 2006 consultant study, including using more locally grown produce and ongoing staff training exercises to teach food safety.

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