What the I-TEAM found in the kitchens of more local schools

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AKRON, Ohio (WJW) – The FOX 8 I-TEAM asked what health inspectors in Northeast Ohio are finding in school cafeterias.

We looked at school cafeteria inspection reports for schools in  Akron, Cleveland, Lorain, Painesville, Parma and Shaker Heights.

“We serve about 18,000 lunches a day in all of the schools,” said Laura Kepler, of the Akron Public Schools. “We would feed our own children in these kitchens.”

Reviews of the inspection reports for the Akron City schools showed most buildings had no violations.  Only a handful of schools had critical violations and all of those were corrected before the next inspection.

“Our managers, they have a food safety checklist they are going through and looking for all of these things in the kitchens so the same things the inspector is looking at, they’re looking for also,” Kepler said.

Earlier, the I-TEAM revealed that a quarter of the Cleveland schools we checked had problems with bugs and mice.

Many Cleveland schools did not have someone in the cafeteria working who’d been certified in food safety.

Cleveland school officials say they are taking extra steps to address both concerns.

Chris Burkardt, of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District,  says cafeteria officials are working very closely with the health department.

The Lorain School District did not have any critical violations. A spokesman with the school district says they contract with an outside food service provider and added that nothing is more important than food safety.

Parma, Painesville and Shaker Heights just had a handful of violations in each district.

Some students in a few of the districts tell us cafeteria food may not be their favorite, but parents tell us they are glad inspectors are making sure the kitchens are clean.

“Glad the inspectors review this,” one grandfather said. “They need to stay on this for our kids’ sake.”

Continuing coverage, here.