Feb 19, 2015
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The West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD) has taken steps to ensure students are not being served expired foods after a parent at a Richmond school said her son became sick while drinking soured milk.

Petronila Fernandes has two children attending J.O. Ford Elementary School at 2711 Maricopa Ave., one of whom complained to her last month that he had a tummy ache.

Fernandes said she looked at the milk carton her son was served at school and saw that it was a week past its expiration date. She claims the expired milk was being served to children for at least two straight days, and adds other parents told her this happens regularly.

A concerned Fernandes contacted the district’s director of food services, Barbara Jellison, and pleaded to the WCCUSD board at its Jan. 21 meeting.

“It is incomprehensible that staff does not look [for the expiration date],” Fernandes told the board.

The very next day, Jellison sent a memo to the food service departments calling for compliance with the district’s rules that expired food items not be served.

The Building Blocks for Kids Richmond Collaborative, which tipped us off to the memo on Facebook, praised Fernandes’ victory as another example of how parents who are involved in their children’s education can single-handedly improve schools.

To watch Fernandes testify before the WCCUSD board, visit this link and skip to about the 14:30 mark.



About the Author

Mike Aldax is the editor of the Richmond Standard. He has 13 years of journalism experience, most recently as a reporter for the San Francisco Examiner. He previously held roles as reporter and editor at Bay City News, Napa Valley Register, Garden Island Newspaper in Kaua’i, and the Queens Courier in New York City.