Forest Park Middle School cited for cafeteria violations - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

LONGVIEW (KLTV)

Forest Park Middle School cited for cafeteria violations

A failed test today at an East Texas school - but this time, it's not the students earning a fail. A health inspection at a Longview middle school has ended in a misdemeanor citation for the cafeteria staff. KLTV 7's Bob Hallmark has more on how parents and the school district are reacting to a bad grade for Forest Park Middle School.

Inspectors say it was the lowest score for a school they had seen in 13 years.

"We did find several violations from hygiene related to hot and cold hold to rodent control," said Buck Farrar, the Longview enviromental health supervisor.

"I was very shocked," said Barbara London. "For other children as well, if they all get sick at one time what are they going to do?"

At Forest Park Middle School, where almost 500 kids attend, inspectors found hygienic violations among cafeteria staff and numerous foods kept at unsafe temperatures.

But more alarming was the evidence of rodent droppings in the dish room and kitchen. News of the inspection had many parents wondering what their children had been exposed to or could have been exposed to, and had other parents worried about the quality of meals served at all Longview campuses.

"I cannot believe that," said LaShayne Roquemore, a LISD parent. "It makes me wonder, is Longview High in compliance? It makes you think further when you have children."

LISD immediately took steps to solve the problem.

"The main job of a school district is to supply a student with a safe learning environment, now when you say safe that also includes the cafeteria for food," said LISD spokesperson Brian Bowman.

All violations were corrected on site, and exterminators have been called in to deal with pest problems. The district is vowing to not let it happen again.

"These conditions existed when we inspected yesterday. There's no evidence that these were ongoing," said Farrar.

"The staff at Forest Park will be retrained, so we're going to address this head on with the staff," said Bowman.

There have been no reports of any children at Forest Park getting sick from meals at the school's cafeteria. The school district says a new cafeteria staff will be on hand when classes resume after the Thanksgiving holiday.

Bob Hallmark, reporting. bhallmark@kltv.com  

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