School Lunch Safety

AMARILLO, TEXAS - After combing through hundreds of documents, NewsChannel 10 found widespread violations all across town - from North to South, public and private schools, pre-k to 12th grade.

Tascosa High School and Southlawn Elementary tied for the public schools with most violations since August. The documents show at Tascosa there was food at the wrong temperature, unsafe employee practices and a missing sneeze guard.

Southlawn also had problems with food temperature and employees not washing their hands properly.

"It makes me not want to eat there. it makes me not even want to go to school there," student Sabbrionna Crain said.

According to inspection reports, other schools show violations as well. At Pleasant Valley, some of the containers of juice were expired. There were also dirty rags touching food prep machines.

Hamlet Elementary had insects in the kitchen. And inspectors at San Jacinto Christian found a worker handing cookies with their bare hands and dishes that were supposed to be clean but still had pieces of food on them.

"That increases the possibility if that food is consumed that someone can become sick. and that's bottom line what it's all about. the schools want to keep people healthy and so are we," said Deree Duke, Director of Environmental Health for the City of Amarillo.

None of the schools we found had an above average number of violations, but city reports show many local restaurants had no problems - meaning it's possible to meet all the health standards.

"We take it very seriously, in fact we look at each time we get a demerit and we fix that immediately to resolve those," Amarillo ISD Child Nutritionist Brent Hoover said.

In fact documents show most violations were corrected on sight, but some problems persisted even after the original inspection. For example at Watley Learning Center, inspectors found roaches on October 11th and again on the 22nd. Our calls to their corporate office for comment were not returned.

For a complete rundown of Amarillo schools that have documented violations since August 1, 2010, clink under the related links.