Nearly half of New York City public school cafeterias have been slapped with serious health code violations, including rodents and insects, according to a new report.
More than 1,100 critical violations were found at nearly 700 cafeteria in 2017, NYCity News Service — a CUNY Graduate School of Journalism student news service — reported. About 20 percent of those citations were considered critical, which means they're more likely to contribute to food-borne illnesses.
There were mice, rats, roaches and flies.
Five second-graders were sickened after eating school lunch at a Brooklyn school one day, NYCity News Service reported. A health inspection several days later found dirty equipment.
But according to Education Department spokesman Michael Aciman, about 98 percent of city schools passed their inspections in 2017.
"All schools must provide students with safe, clean cafeterias and we ensure that they meet all federal and state requirements," Aciman said." Nothing is more important than the health and wellbeing of students and staff, and we work closely with the Department of Health to immediately investigate and address any violation.
Health officials are required to inspect school cafeterias twice every school year under U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines. More than 1.1 million children attend New York City public schools.
For information on the the report, click here.