City, county’s public school cafeterias pass health inspections with flying colors
by David Lazenby
Jan 22, 2011 | 2187 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Cafeteria worker Debbie Dingler, left, cleans an area of kitchen at the Lupton Junior High School’s lunchroom Friday afternoon with Janice Campbell, a retired lunchroom worker filling in for a staff member. Photo by: Daniel Gaddy
Cafeteria worker Debbie Dingler, left, cleans an area of kitchen at the Lupton Junior High School’s lunchroom Friday afternoon with Janice Campbell, a retired lunchroom worker filling in for a staff member. Photo by: Daniel Gaddy
slideshow
According to inspections conducted by the Alabama Department of Public Health, all area school cafeterias made satisfactory scores when it comes to food establishment scores.

The state department’s website, adph.org, lists the ratings for area schools given by inspectors who visit the facilities and rank them according to their absence of health code violations.

All of the area schools scored between 89 and 100. Establishments scoring between 85 and 100 are considered to be in satisfactory compliance.

The top-ranking school cafeteria — Lupton Junior High School — had a perfect score of 100 when it was last inspected on Dec. 6.

Like restaurants, school lunch rooms are required to post their permits — with their scores — where it can be easily seen within the establishment.

Other area schools, and the scores they received during their most recent inspections by the ADPH, from highest to lowest, are as follows:

•Lupton Junior High School, 100

•Cordova High School, 99

•Cordova Elementary School, 99

•Farmstead Jr. High School, 99

•Maddox Middle School, 99

•Memorial Park Elementary School, 99

•Bankhead Middle School, 98

•T.R. Simmons Elementary School, 98

•West Jasper Elementary School, 97

•Sumiton Elementary/Middle School, 96

•Carbon Hill School, 94

•Townley Jr. High School, 93

•Walker High School, 93

•T.S. Boyd School, 91

•Oakman Elementary/High School, 91

•Curry Elementary/Middle School, 90

•Sipsey Jr. High School, 90

•Dora High School, 89

Robert Sparkman, the superintendent of Jasper City Schools, said city school cafeteria employees work hard to maintain high standards of sanitation.

“When you get in our kitchens, they sparkle,” Sparkman said about the lunch rooms. “We’re held to every standard there can be because you’ve got children involved.”

“My ladies try so hard to get a 100,” said Beckie Martin, the school system’s Child Nutrition Program director. “They really go the extra mile to keep the facilities clean for the children.”

Sparkman said on several occasions, city schools have met that goal.

Martin said cleanliness in the lunchrooms is truly a human health issue.

“There are so many diseases and bacteria and infections going around, if we don’t keep it clean, it would be widespread,” she said.

Sparkman said often the age of the building being examined is a factor in the score it receives.

“Sometimes it’s a facility issue, not a cleanliness issue,” he said.

Johnna Baker, an official with the Walker County Public School System whose duties include child nutrition matters, could not be reached by press time Thursday.

According to the ADPH website, overall scores determine the reinspection schedule and the use of enforcement actions.