After releasing shocking report on lunchroom violations, City administration strikes deal to post vital health inspections for parents and send information home with students
Albany, NY – Senator Jeff Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester) announced an agreement with City officials to provide parents with health inspection reports for their children’s school cafeterias.
“Parents deserve to be aware of the conditions of the cafeterias that their children eat in every day. I’m proud that we were able to quickly come to an agreement with the city to make sure that this information is made easily available to parents,” said Senator Klein.
Health inspections will be posted online at www.schoolfoodnyc.org by the start of the new school year. Health inspections and steps taken to remedy any violations will also be sent home to parents and guardians.
This will be codified into law through Senator Klein’s S.4173A, which requires the New York City Department of Education to post cafeteria health inspection data online and send secondary notices home with students.
Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan (D-Queens) sponsors its companion bill.
Online the inspections will be searchable by school name.
In December 2016, Senator Klein and the Independent Democratic Conference released a scathing report on the sanitary conditions of school cafeterias, “School Lunch Flunks: An Investigation into the Dirtiest New York City Public School Cafeterias.”
Inspection data from schools was requested by Freedom of Information Act because it was not posted online for public consumption and parents had no way of knowing the state of cleanliness inside their child’s lunchroom.
In the report, IDC analysts assigned letter grades for cafeterias based on the already established letter grading system that is used for restaurants. They found that nearly 15% of the 2,976 school cafeteria inspections would be graded a “B” or “C” in NYC Fiscal Year (FY) 2015-2016. In addition, 61 schools in FY 15-16 that were inspected more that once never earned a score that would have returned an “A” grade.
Among the violations reported, conditions that can lead to vermin infestations and evidence of mice were two of the five most common violations issued against school cafeterias. In FY 15-16 inspectors gave out 442 mice related violations to 320 different school cafeterias, including an inspection at Sixth Avenue Elementary School in Manhattan where inspectors found 400 mice excreta in one inspection.
Other violations found includes ones for filth flies and other pests.