Hawkins County

Officials review guidelines after years-old meat is served at Hawkins Co. schools

Guidelines under review after years-old pork is served to students in Hawkins Co.

HAWKINS CO., Tenn. - There are 18 schools in Hawkins County and more than 7,000 students. The Board of Education Chair said, right now, they're not sure how many students ate the out-dated pork. 

"I'm disappointed the school system let this happen," said Commissioner Michael Herrell. "To me, if we've got meat that old, I don't understand why."

Commissioner Michael Herrell is also a concerned parent who was tipped off about the school lunch last week.

"These high schoolers know when to not eat something, but elementary schoolers -- do they know if meat is bad or not?" said Herrell.

Herrell said the picture sent to him was taken at Joseph Rogers Primary, but the meat was not served there.

Herell does believe it was served at other schools in the county.

"If you see on the USDA website, it's safe indefinitely, just like anything you check it," said Board of Education chair Steve Starnes.

According to the USDA guidelines, uncooked meat should be frozen only up to 12 months.

Starnes said, they did find meat dating back to 2009, 2010 and 2011 in the schools' freezers. They are now implementing new guidelines to prevent this from happening again. First, they will take an inventory of all the meat and log expiration dates. They will also implement quarterly checks of the food supply. 

"We want parents to feel safe in knowing that when they send their children to school here, that we are providing them a quality food service program" said Starnes.

"It should be more action than just stickers to date meat when it comes in and out," said Herrell.

Starnes said, so far there have been no reports of any students getting sick. The Board of Education will meet Thursday night at 6, at the training center in Rogersville. That meeting is open to the public. 


Most Popular