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Food service discards students’ toaster pastries after insects were found

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The Liberty School District Food Service Department discarded its district-wide supply of Pop-Tarts after several middle school students noticed small insects inside the brown sugar and strawberry flavored toaster pastries they were served as part of their school breakfast on Wednesday, Oct. 7.

Upon finding mealworms, the students told their teachers, who instructed all students not to eat the Pop-Tarts.
School administrators then notified the school’s Food Service Department, which sealed and disposed of the remaining Pop-Tarts in an outside dumpster. Teachers also collected and disposed of all Pop-Tarts that had previously been given to students.

As a replacement, all students who participate in the district’s breakfast program were given the option of cereal or cereal bars instead.

“The insects were undetected prior to serving because they come to us in sealed, ready-to-serve packages,” said Food Service Director Dara Smith. “The Pop Tarts are manufactured and pre-packaged by Kellogg’s and supplied to the school district in sealed packages through Driscoll Foods.”

The district immediately reported the incident to supplier Driscoll Foods and manufacturer Kellogg’s. Those companies are expected to launch an investigation to determine the source, which likely occurred during manufacturing, Mrs. Smith said.

Mrs. Smith also said the district will no longer provide Pop-Tarts as part of school breakfasts. Food service staff will continue to monitor all packaged and fresh foods to help ensure the health and safety of everyone who consumes school meals.

Parents are encouraged to contact the school’s nurse or their own physician if they are concerned that their children may be adversely affected. Anyone with questions or concerns may also contact Dara Smith at dsmith@libertyk12.org.

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