Council Member Joe Borelli (R-South Shore) is calling on the New York City Council’s Education Committee to hold a hearing at their earliest possible convenience to discuss chronic health violations in public school cafeterias and provide recommendations regarding corrective actions that may be taken to ensure that our youngest constituents are not being put in any danger by consuming food prepared in public school cafeterias.
A recent report from NYCity News Service, a CUNY-university student-powered news service, based on data which they obtained via Freedom of Information requests from the Department of Health, highlights the health and sanitary issues plaguing Department of Education school cafeterias across the city. The report indicates a number of “critical” health violations, with 55 critical violations on Staten Island alone. In fact, of the total of more than 1,000 critical health violations, 299, or nearly one-third of these violations, have occurred at Staten Island schools, despite being home to less than 7% of the population.
Borelli’s office has also begun drafting legislation which would require schools to notify parents if they receive a “critical” violation from the Department of Health & Mental Hygiene.
Said Borelli, “These statistics would be appalling if they were from any pizzeria in the city. We need to know whether this is sporadic or systemic, and what protocols the Department of Education has in place when unsanitary conditions occur. Parents have enough to worry about and should feel as though their children are safe from the minute they show up for school breakfast until dismissal.”
To view a copy of the letter, please click here.