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Friday, August 20, 2010
8:55 AM | | Edit Post
I know you have all been patiently waiting to hear what I learned in lunch lady training.
It began with an hour long seminar on diversity and the importance of not making flash judgments. Of course, this implies that we have the ability to refuse service to someone.
NO SOUP FOR YOU!
Which, of course, we do not. Even if we had that ability, I can't imagine any lunch lady refusing to feed a child for any reason but I suppose stranger things have happened.
My favorite part of the diversity training included a piece about apples. The facilitator lined up six different varieties of apples and challenged us to list their similarities and their difference.
The similarities, which included things like shape, size, the fact that they all grow on trees, that they each have a stem, that they all have seeds, nearly doubled any of their difference.
After diversity training we split up into smaller groups and at one point formed a human knot, played a game of bingo with answers that included things like meat/meat alternate, liquid milk, 40 degrees, and tuna. We also had a "Find what's wrong with this picture" class that may have depicted the world's most unkempt kitchen in the entire world.
In the mandatory "scare the crap" out of you class they provided us with the following scenario and asked us to tell them what we would do.
The foodservice manager's worst nightmare is coming to life. The sixth-grade class went on a field trip, and the cafeteria furnished reimbursable lunches to students who ordered them. The lunches were packed and picked up that morning and put on the bus. The children ate lunch around noon.
When the students returned to their classroom around 2 o'clock, a couple of them complained of nausea, headaches, and achy muscles. Some students were vomiting and had to call parents to go home. Concerned that this could have been caused by the lunch, the teacher tells the principal, who immediately comes to the foodservice manager's office. The principal decides to call the local public health department because two or more students have reported the same symptoms, and all ate the school lunches packed for the field trip.
What should the manager do?
First, I think it's important to remember that students get sick and that it's not always the foods fault. Students spend lots of time together and often share the same germs with each other.
Secondly, perhaps the teacher in this scenario was so quick to blame the cafeteria because it was she/he who didn't properly store the lunches. Was there a cooler on the bus?
Thirdly, I find the Principal's response slightly rash. Yes, it is protocol to notify health officials if more than two students have symptoms, but I do not believe that would be his/her first phone call.
That being said all food served that day should be put aside for further investigation, no comments should be made to outside sources to avoid any "sympathy symptoms" and all phone calls should be directed to the food service director because they make the most money. LOL
Keeping my fingers crossed that this always remains a scenario,
- I'm a 41 year old (gasp) freelance writer, school cafeteria manager, wife and mother. I have three children and one anxious and overweight beagle. I use my blog to make others laugh, to share some cool crafts, to document my lunchlady adventures and to lament about the challenges faced by us all on the journey called life. Thanks for visiting. Please leave some crack...um...I meant some comments.