For many Long Beach families, the grab-and-go meals offered by the school district have become a staple in their lives. However, one Long Beach school district is coming under fire after they handed out a sandwich that had a substance that appeared to have some time of mold-like substance upon it.
One shocked mom posted a photo of the sandwich to social media, and she was even more surprised to learn that she wasn’t the only one who had seen such horrible food coming from school.
Marie Elias is a Long Beach mother of two, and she began picking up the free meals for her 13-year-old son. However, when her son brought home the breakfast sandwiches and opened them up, he was going to start eating it, but he noticed a blackish substance on the bread and lost his appetite.
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Marie Elias was interviewed, and she held up the top biscuit which had the dark-colored stain on it. “I have no idea what child would eat this and I have no idea what parent in their right mind would give this to their children,” she said. “Seriously! Look at it!”
“It would be bad enough with the top egg being like that,” she continued, “but the egg also looks bad too. All you have to do is look closely at the egg and you can see that it is all over the place.”
Naturally, Marie presumed that it was mold and so she took to social media. She was totally flabbergasted when responses to her post kept flooding in. She quickly realized that she wasn’t the only one who had received these strange-looking biscuit sandwiches.
“I had a bunch of Hispanic mothers messaging me in Spanish and they were like – what do I do? Should I feed this to my child? I don’t have a morning meal for them other than this,” Elias reported. Indeed, there are many mothers in Long Beach that depend on these morning meals to feed their children.
Of course, LBUSD quickly did some damage control, and they sent out an email to their parents where they noted that they were fully aware of the discolored sandwiches and they informed all of the families that they were still safe to eat.
“This is an instance where there was some harmless discoloration on the biscuit due to wheat oxidation. Once it was brought to our attention, we immediately notified the parents and we assured them that they are still safe to eat. Of course, we do also understand that these biscuits don’t look very appealing. If that’s the case, just go ahead and toss it out and we’ll start over again tomorrow.” Eftychiou also noted that the district has handed out over a million meals since the program started in March, and this was the first time they had given out a meal that was discolored.
“When you have that large amount of meals, we might occasionally have an issue. Again, this isn’t a harmful situation, but we will definitely take a look at it in order to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
Eftychiou also noted that any family who had received the discolored sandwiches could return them to their pick-up location and receive a different breakfast option. They are handing these meals out at 78 different locations within the greater Long Beach area. Any child under 18 is eligible for the meal, and they don’t even have to be a student with LBUSD.
While Elias did note that this was a disappointing experience, she said she is still grateful for the program. She is just trying to make sure that this doesn’t happen again. “We can’t afford the extra meals for our children. This is a hard time and we just don’t have the extra funds right now,” she noted. “I was just trying to let other parents know that they should check the meals.”
What do you think about this food mishap with this Long Beach school district?