New York City School Cafeterias May Be Getting Health Department Letter Grades Like NYC Restaurants

ABC- Parents and a local lawmaker are making a push to have the letter grades you see at restaurants, apply to school cafeterias in an effort to keep kids safe. “It irritates me, that’s not good for any kid who eats the food around here,” said Frank Castro, a parent. Frank Castro was appalled to learn the cafeteria at his kindergartner’s school had evidence of mice, roaches and flies. If PS 33 were graded like a restaurant it would get a C from the Health Department. “Why don’t we provide the same transparencies at cafeterias that we do at restaurant?” State Senator Jeffrey Klein said.

Klein proposed the grading system for New York City restaurants in 2008. Now he’s wants the same rules to apply to school cafeterias. He reviewed 3,000 cafeteria inspection reports by the city’s Health Department, data that isn’t usually released. “We found stomach churning stories,” Klein said. “At the Sixth Avenue, droppings at one visit.” Another brand new school, Peck Slip, also racked up violations for mice. Both would have received C grades if they were restaurants. And there were dozens of other schools like it. “If we are going to protect adults and the public in restaurants, we should also be protecting the children,” a member of the parents’ union said.

But unlike restaurant grades, a bad grade for a school cafeteria won’t result in a loss of business. But could it make schools more accountable. “That’s certainly what parents want, instead of unclean conditions,” Klein said. “My kids come to eat here. You don’t want to hear those kinds of things in school,” a parent said.

Outside of avoiding visits to a hot dog factory, not knowing the cleanliness of your school’s cafeteria is the ultimate example of ignorance is bliss. I don’t think anyone on the planet, or at least in America, wants to know what goes on behind the doors of a school cafeteria. Getting a full, “nutritious” meal for like $2 or whatever school lunch costs in 2016 isn’t feasible without some crooked math or shortcuts in the food department. But if you then want to then get into the cleanliness of a school, especially in New York City, you might as well just watch a Faces of Death marathon instead.

Even if you eat at the trendiest five star restaurant in Manhattan, you are pretty much agreeing that the chance of roaches or rats being in that kitchen at some point is higher than basically anywhere else on the planet. That’s what happens when you have people living on top of people living on top of people in a city on an island infested with pests. But when you take that same logic and apply it to a city school’s kitchen, I think you are just happy if a mouse isn’t slapped between two pieces of bread and pawned off as a sloppy joe. Every single school in the city is going to get an F (AKA a Grade Pending until we can clean this shitty ass kitchen up) right? I mean I went to school in the burbs and even we had an urban legend (that was definitely true) of the lunch lady mixing the juice with her bare arm. We didn’t give a shit because the juice was delicious and because that’s what you sign up for when you eat school lunch. Cheap, shitty, probably dirty food. Which is why the people that begged for change back then were even more pathetic than anyone possibly realized. Truly the saddest sacks of shit on Earth. Seagulls and pigeons have more pride than them. But anyway, the point remains. If you are expecting your kid’s school to be any better than a C+ in the Health Departments, you are probably going to be disappointed. And by probably I mean 1000000% definitely.

However let the record show that Pizza Fridays is excluded from all of this negativity toward school lunches. Pizza Friday is a sacred day that does not deserved to be lumped in with the other four days of school lunch and is downright magical if we are being honest. Elios Pizza don’t have shit on whatever nameless, faceless brand pizza they serve in schools.

P.S. If you eat at a restaurant that is less than an A, you need to take a long look in the mirror. I’d rather lick the floor of a subway than eat at a B restaurant. And if you know anyone that eats at a C, you should cut all ties with that person immediately because you simply cannot trust someone that would willingly do that. Too much of a wildcard.