School nutrition director suspended for serving up old meat

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ROGERSVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Hawkins County School nutrition director has been suspended for serving 4- to 6-year-old pork to students. Mandy Kenner is accused of serving the meat dating back to 2009-2011 on April 22.

Director of schools Steve Starnes announced Kenner's three-day suspension without pay during Thursday's Hawkins County Board of Education meeting.

The pork issue came up about 90 minutes into the meeting, and began with public comments from concerned parents, a county commissioner, and one school employee.

"I'm appalled by this situation," parent Sandra Lewis said. "My son ate that. ... He said the taste was indescribable."

"I want to apologize to our students, our staff, our parents, the community, and this board for this incident," Starnes said during the meeting. "It's obvious that best judgment and cautionary care did not prevail. I'm glad this was brought to our attention because the procedures we're going to put in place will make our food service program even better."

The Kingsport Times-News reports ( a new frozen food policy drafted by Starnes was approved by the board Thursday. The policy includes bimonthly school cafeteria freezer inventories. Some aspects of the policy were implemented April 24, such as clearing out all outdated food from school freezers.

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