Schools that serve meals with the National School Lunch Program are supposed to be inspected at least twice a year.
However the latest statistics reported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the 2007-2008 school year show only 70 percent of schools comply with that. And that’s an improvement over 2006-2007 when only 67 percent of schools were inspected twice.
In Texas, 61 schools had zero inspections in 2007-2008, 297 only had one inspection and 29 schools didn’t report their data at all to the state or the USDA. That actually looks good when you consider the USDA found 3,436 schools didn’t get inspected in California that same school year.
Nationwide 9,211 schools that participate in the National School Lunch Program failed to have any food safety inspections, 18,565 had only one.
State agencies say the problems in complying with these rules which were changed during the 2005-2006 school year include:
- Insufficient funds/staff at State and local public health agencies to handle increased inspection load,
- The public health agencies prioritize inspections according to risk; schools are a low priority, and
- Lack of local public health inspectors in small towns and rural settings.
See how all the states stack up here.