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About food at Westview

Westview sent this information to all families via letter from Principal Stacie Parham on Sept. 4 (the first day of school):

During breakfast today, a spoiled carton of apple juice was served to a Westview student. This should not have happened. As a precautionary measure, we immediately removed all other apple juice cartons from our cafeteria. We checked several of those cartons, and they appeared to be fine. It seems there was only one spoiled carton of juice. In order to take appropriate precautions, we contacted the Crater Health District and followed protocols.

We regret that this happened and want to assure you of our commitment to serving fresh and nutritious meals so that students are able to focus on learning. Thank you for your support of Westview Early Childhood Education Center.

Westview sent that letter on Sept. 4 in order to communicate quickly and transparently with families. The school system’s Food Services Department continued to look into what happened, and on Sept. 6 received from our food distributor additional information that indicates the problem with the juice container was created within the manufacturing process:

The apple juice was manufactured in May 2018 by SunCup, which states that the juice is good for one year if it is kept frozen. The Westview cafeteria kept the juice frozen until Friday, Aug. 31, when it was moved from the freezer to the refrigerator so it would be ready for the first day of school on Tuesday, Sept. 4. The manufacturer says the juice must be used within 10 days of thawing, so our procedure was within that guideline. 

Some Westview parents have asked that their students be allowed to bring lunch to school rather than eat the lunch served in the cafeteria. That is not possible because the federal program that is based at Westview (Head Start) restricts students from bringing breakfast and lunch from home. Allowing outside food to enter Westview would jeopardize the federal funds that provide high-quality instruction and support for Petersburg’s youngest students. While some Westview classes are not covered by federal guidelines, allowing some students but not others to bring lunch would be difficult to monitor and have a high potential to violate federal requirements. That is why Westview will continue to provide nutritious breakfasts, snacks and lunches for all students and will not allow students to bring food from home into the school.

Families who have dietary concerns may contact Westview to discuss them. The school’s phone number is 804-861-1274.

Both Westview Early Childhood Education Center and Petersburg City Public Schools are committed to providing every student with a safe environment in which to learn, grow and succeed.