SACRAMENTO COUNTY (CBS13) — CBS13 reviewed health inspections of kitchens and cafeterias at nearly 400 local school, and found while most did very well, one did not.
Twice a year, county inspectors show up unannounced for surprise inspections at 380 schools in Sacramento County.
We found major violations at three schools in different districts—Sacramento Unified School District, Natomas School District, and Twin Rivers Unified School District.
At Castoria Elementary School, the kitchen and cafeteria were so dirty, health inspectors shut it down.
Two students were there when the kitchen and cafeteria at the school were shut down, saying the floors were dirty. More on this school in a moment.
The good news, is that most of the schools that were cited for violations quickly fixed what was wrong. One of the schools cited was St. Francis Catholic High School, an all-girls private school where administrators were very surprised.
“We’ve never had that kind of an issue in the past,” said Larry Carson, the plant manager at the school. “As soon as we found out about it, we took care of it immediately and moved forward.”
Health inspectors cited the school for numerous minor violations after finding moldy food in the back of a walk-in refrigerators, and a repeat violation of mice droppings.
Those problems were cleaned up right away at St. Francis, and the school is breaking ground on a new cafeteria.
While people at St. Francis were open and told us their side of the story, that wasn’t the case at Castori Elementary School.
In May, health inspectors found multiple violations—including more than a dozen dead cockroaches in the kitchen—and immediately ordered the kitchen and cafeteria to be shut down and cleaned up.
“It’s really gross,” said parent Pauline Jones. “Children have to eat here, and it’s not really healthy.”
The kitchen and cafeteria at the school were closed for four days so crews could get rid of the cockroaches. Days later, they passed the re-inspection.
Jones’ son goes to school at Castori, and she said school officials never told her about the poor inspection results or the cockroaches.
“I think that we need to know,” she said.
The Twin Rivers School District school didn’t respond to our request for an on-camera interview.
Castori Elementary was the only school in Sacramento County where they make food and feed kids on a daily basis to be shut down by health inspectors during the 2012-2013 fiscal year.
In fact, 98 percent of school cafeterias inspected in the past year passed, and as a whole, they’ve had fewer major violations than restaurants.
More than a week after we requested an on-camera interview with the Twin Rivers district about Castori, they emailed CBS13 a statement, which reads, “We welcome health and safety inspections, and if they reveal issues that are not up to specific standards, we take immediate action.
The statement went on to add, “The inspector offered to return on May 17 to reinspect the facility, but nutrition services made the decision to keep the cafeteria closed a few more days to ensure it was properly treated and sanitized.”
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