School system responds to moldy-food complaint: Some food pictured isn’t ours

WASHINGTON — The Prince George’s County Public School System rejects a student’s allegations that students are being served food that is moldy, unhealthy and disgusting.

“Our school meals are healthy, nutritious and safe. And food safety is our top priority,” says Sherrie Johnson, spokeswoman for Prince George’s County Public Schools.

The student, Tamera Perry, a senior at Friendly High School in Fort Washington, made her complaints about school food public. Other students took to social media, posting pictures including undercooked hamburgers and moldy sandwich rolls.

But Johnson insists most of the pictures are of food from other school districts.

“We actually met with members of our Food and Nutrition Team [Tuesday] morning, and we examined the photos and they were quite clear: some of those are not ours. We could tell by the color of the food tray and we don’t use milk cartons — we have bottled milk,” Johnson says.

Among the complaints the girl made to Fox5 was that the Rojo Fiesta Pizza she was served Friday, Sept. 11, “wasn’t pizza at all, it was disgusting.”

Johnson says there’s a reason the pizza looked different.

“This is a new product this year. It’s a vegetarian pizza in which mashed kidney beans and cheese are part of the protein source,” Johnson says.

Johnson says the Rojo Fiesta Pizza was taste-tested by students and received positive feedback. Also, she says the student was surprised to learn that the ingredients she thought looked disgusting were mashed kidney beans — with which she was unfamiliar.

Also, Perry says she has been served date-expired milk and seen date-expired fruit cups, but Johnson says the food service department has no reports or listed complaints substantiating those charges.

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