Cafeteria ensures sanitation for students
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New FDA regulations regarding sanitation were passed just last week, ensuring more strict rules regarding the harvesting and transportation of food across the United States. However, on a more local level, the new regulations could have an impact on West’s suppliers, according to cafeteria worker JoAnn Hyatt.
“The food service director of Parkway always calls any vendors during recalls, so with the new regulations, the process would work the same way,” Hyatt said.
After all, Parkway has its own sanitation standards to uphold. Although the St. Louis County Department of Health only requires a single employee per school to be certified in sanitation, Parkway can proudly say that 82% of it’s food service employees have their sanitation certificate.
“The only reason it is at 82% is probably because most employees are required to work one year before taking the class to earn their sanitation certificate. However, they are given a booklet on sanitation standards in Parkway when they are hired, and are encouraged to read it,” Hyatt said.
All Parkway cafeterias are inspected two times per year by the St. Louis Department of Health, and the average score for West is a 99%.
“All sanitation standards are very important in Parkway. Any changes made by the FDA we always try to uphold,” Hyatt said.
Although Hyatt was reassuring that Parkway has never had any history with food borne illness, something the new FDA regulations are aiming to prevent, Stewart is more skeptical about illness in the cafeteria.
When asked whether Parkway’s student/parent body should be made aware and kept updated on sanitation practices in the district, principal Jeremy Mitchell says there is always room for improvement.
“The parents should trust that we’re doing things as well as we should,” Mitchell said.
Hyatt has a message for the parents and students of Parkway:
“People should know how much we care about students and sanitation. We try to provide a safe environment for children to eat, and are always trying to make the experience better for students,” Hyatt said.