TULSA, Okla. — School cafeterias are a staple of everyday student life -- which makes their cleanliness and safety key to student health.
Tulsa Public Schools serves meals to about 28,000 students each day -- about 50,000 total meals.
FOX23 dug through Tulsa Public Schools Health Department inspection reports and went with Tulsa Health Department Food Protection Services Manager Debrena Hilton to inspect the kitchen at East Central High School.
The Tulsa Health Department has 18 inspectors in Tulsa County who do at least two routine unannounced inspections during each school year.
Inspectors check to make sure all foods come from approved sources and are stored at safe temperatures, all equipment is clean and in good condition, each kitchen has at least one certified manager, and employees are handling food in a safe, hygienic manner.
From Jan. 1, 2018 through Aug. 31, 2019 the department issued 31 warnings to 15 Tulsa Public School District sites.
Three elementary schools -- Bell, Council Oak, and Hawthorne had repeated mice/rodent violations. The same violations were found at the district’s off-site bakery Ross Bake Center, three middle or junior high schools, and four high schools.
The most common violation among elementary schools is the cleanliness of food and non-food surfaces.
The most common violation among middle and high schools was floors, walls, and ceilings not in good repair.
The Tulsa Public Schools Director of Child Nutrition Steve Dyer told FOX23 the violations happened before he was in his role.
“I’m really sorry to hear this information but I do know that we have systems in place to correct it and address any shortcomings as quickly as possible and to make it the healthiest safest cleanest environment possible," Dyer says.
Michelle Linn asked Tulsa Public Schools about its procedures for food inspections.
We were able to get this school year’s inspections and found 8 schools had violation for mice or insects. Hawthorne was the only school to show a repeat of the violations.
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