The Center for Science in the Public Interest issued a press release titled, "What danger lies in the school cafeteria?" this week, announcing the publication of its study on school lunch safety. The study, MAKING THE GRADE: An analysis of food safety in school cafeterias, involved an inspection of reports from high school cafeterias across the United States.
According to the CSPI press release:
Of the 20 jurisdictions evaluated, Hartford, Conn., received the lowest score, 37 out of a possible 100. Hartford had the highest number of critical violations, including multiple cases of dirty equipment and utensils, inadequate hand-washing facilities, and poor personnel hygiene. Hartford also had infrequent inspections (on average, one per year, violating the federal requirements for two inspections), poor access to inspection reports, and a weak food code. Other jurisdictions with failing scores include the District of Columbia, with the lowest inspection frequency; Rhode Island; Minneapolis, Minn.; and Hillsborough (includes Tampa) and Dade (includes Miami) counties in Florida. Montgomery County, Md., barely passed, as it has the most outdated food code.
Fort Worth, Texas, had the best food safety score, with a score of 80 out of 100. Other top performers overall were King County, Wash. (includes Seattle); Houston; and Denver, Colo. Fort Worth; Maricopa County, Ariz. (includes Phoenix); Farmington Valley Health District, Conn.; Fulton County, Ga. (includes Atlanta); Hillsborough County; and Minneapolis scored well in inspection frequency (even though it failed overall). Maricopa County and Virginia also earned top scores for access to inspection information.