ROCK HILL, S.C. — A school cafeteria worker told Channel 9 that some children are being served out-of-date and moldy bread at lunch.
Sarah Randolph works for Southwest Food Excellence that has a contract to provide food service to Oakdale Elementary School.
"I want the parents to know how their children are being treated up here," Randolph said.
She sent Channel 9 pictures showing sandwich bread dated Oct. 21 that she said was being served Monday.
She said the bread also had mold on it.
The bread is being used for cheese sandwiches that are given to children who cannot pay for lunch. It's considered an alternative lunch.
She said she came forward because she was forced to take a hot meal away from a child and give them a sandwich made with old bread.
"What is supposed to happen is if you wouldn't eat it, don't serve it, but I would probably be in a lot more trouble if I tried to throw a loaf of bread away or a whole pack of hot dog buns," she said
Randolph was put on paid leave while the claims are investigated after coming forward and meeting with food service staff on Tuesday.
She was told by her employer to take down a Facebook post where she said children are being punished when parents don't have money in their lunch account.
Parents at Oakdale had not heard of any problems with the food.
"That's kind of devastating if that's the case and I truly hope that it's not," parent Alvita Frazier said.
"The stories shared with WSOC do not jive with accounts of others on the cafeteria staff at Oakdale,” Rock Hill Schools officials said in a statement. “The date on the bread is a manufacturers ‘best if used by’ date which is different than an ‘expiration date.’ Further, bread can be frozen, thawed and then used. Essentially, this renders the ‘best if used by’ date moot. Sandwiches were made and kept as samples and have been inspected today. No mold on sandwiches. The separate issue of alternative meals provides an alternate meal to students who have a negative balance in his or her lunch account. Some schools in our district have ‘angel funds’ that are sponsored/supported by local churches. In those instances, a student with a negative balance would be provided a hot ‘regular lunch’ and the fee would be covered by the 'angel fund.'"
Randolph said others aren't backing her up because of fear of losing their jobs. To her, the issue is simple.
"Oct. 22 bread, you do not use on Nov. 13," she said.
Channel 9 reached out to SFE on Tuesday but did not get a response as of late in the afternoon.
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