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News 9 Takes Inside Look At Oklahoma School Cafeteria Inspections

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We tagged along, going behind the kitchen doors to see what they look for inside Oklahoma's school cafeterias. We tagged along, going behind the kitchen doors to see what they look for inside Oklahoma's school cafeterias.
EDMOND, Oklahoma -

It's a typical day inside the cafeteria at Edmond's Chisholm Elementary. Kitchen manager Brenda Johnson and her staff are preparing lunch for 350 kids.

But what's not so typical, a surprise visit from city-county health inspector, Matt Brosh. We tagged along, going behind the kitchen doors to see what they look for inside Oklahoma's school cafeterias.

Click here to view the Oklahoma County inspection guide

First up on Brosh's check list, the dishwashers. He makes sure they're sanitizing correctly. He places a heat strip on a pan and runs it through.

"If it gets to 160 degrees on the pan, it'll turn black so that means it gets hot enough to sanitize everything," Health Inspector Matt Brosh said.

Every school must also have a way to clean dishes manually.

Next, we step into the refrigerator. Most importantly, is the food at the right temperature.

"We're looking for 41 degrees or below, which is what we're seeing everywhere," Brosh said.

Now it's time to bundle up and go inside the freezer.

"Just making sure everything is six inches off the ground and of course, frozen, which it is," Brosh finds.

And it wouldn't be a school lunch without milk.

"I'm just temping the milk. You want it 41 or below so it doesn't have a chance to grow anything," Brosh said.

Then it's onto the oven to check on the hamburger patties. Chisholm passed with flying colors.

"Everything looks really good," Brosh said. "This place is in great shape."

That's because cleanliness and sanitization are routine for Brenda Johnson and her crew.

"It's a constant, ongoing procedure," Brenda Johnson said. "We do it everyday and if you keep it going everyday it becomes relatively easy."

But it doesn't seem to come as easy for other schools. We poured through pages and pages of inspection reports from schools throughout Oklahoma County, Moore and Norman.

Oklahoma County School Inspections Part 1

Oklahoma County School Inspections Part 2

We found several schools with a list of violations:

  • Food at the wrong temperature.
  • Inadequate hand washing.
  • Evidence of rodent or insect contamination.

In serious cases like these, the health department is on their heels.

"Either they fix it immediately or we come back in five days or ten days," Brosh said.

And most of the time, the schools' inspections improve on the next visit. In fact, overall, most metro schools have little to no violations, keeping hungry kids healthy and happy.

The state recently adopted a few changes to its food code, including not allowing workers to touch food with their hands. They must wear gloves or use tongs, something they were already doing at Chisholm.

Click here to see how your child's school is graded during recent health inspections.

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