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Mar 24, 2017

Capitol Region Education Council and Hartford Public Schools Respond to Food Concerns at CREC Two Rivers Magnet High School

The Capitol Region Education Council and Hartford Public Schools are looking into a concern regarding food preparation at CREC Two Rivers Magnet High, where HPS Food and Child Nutrition Services provides food services. A few students were served hamburgers with discoloration on the patties and had the opportunity to exchange the meal. Hartford Public Schools determined the discoloration was caused by the method used to heat the patties, but that the food did not pose a health risk. Hartford Public Schools is working with the manufacturer to determine optimal preparation procedures and ensuring training for all staff.  The district is also looking into the concerns with the produce served on that day. 

Hartford Public Schools Food and Child Nutrition Services have supplied meals at CREC Two Rivers High since the school moved into the Learning Corridor campus two years ago.

CREC STATEMENT

“The safety of the food our students are served is very important and we are sorry if any students were upset by the meals served this week. Having a quality lunch is key to getting a quality education. That is why we will continue working closely with Hartford Public Schools to fully determine what happened and make sure that students are served nutritious, healthy meals so they can focus on learning.”

HARTFORD PUBLIC SCHOOLS STATEMENT  

The hamburger that was served at Two Rivers High School had some pink discoloration on the surface of the patty causing the patty to look raw or not fully cooked. The hamburger was fully cooked and at no time was there a food safety or sanitation issue with the product. For food safety purposes, all protein products served in the district are fully cooked; the district does not prepare protein items from a raw state. As soon as the concern was noted, the district reached out to the manufacturer, AdvancePierre Foods, who noted that the pinking is caused by “...a natural sodium chemical reaction that occurs with meat products when they are placed for a period of time in a high-temperature/low-oxygen container or appliance such as steam table pans, steam ovens…The pigment is completely harmless and does not in any way affect the safety or taste of the product.” Hartford Public Schools is working with the manufacturer to determine optimal preparation procedures and ensuring training for all staff. 

The district is also looking into the concerns with the produce served on that day.  Senior Director of Food and Child Nutrition Services, Lonnie M. Burt, noted: “We carefully choose the products for our school lunches with nutrition as our foremost concern. At times, the product or our preparation process is not up to our standards. We have taken immediate action to rectify the situation. Food quality and safety is of upmost importance to us and we take these matters very seriously.”


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The Capitol Region Education Council was established in 1966. Working with and for its member districts, CREC has developed a wide array of cost-effective and high-quality programs and services to meet the educational needs of children and adults in the region. CREC brings nearly five decades of experience in education, regional collaboration, and operations to provide innovative strategies and products that address the changings needs of school districts and their students, corporations, non-profits, and individual professions. CREC regularly serves 36 towns in Greater Hartford, offering more than 120 programs to more than 150,000 students annually. CREC manages more than 35 facilities throughout the area, including 17 interdistrict magnet schools. More information about CREC and CREC’s award-winning schools is available at www.crec.org.     
 

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