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Oregon Schools Meet Clean Cafeteria Standards

By Steven Sandberg

MEDFORD, Ore. — A new report says most school cafeterias are meeting standards for health and cleanliness and that’s good news for schools in Southern Oregon; their food managers say they have been ahead of the curve for years.

That new report out of Salem says overall, most schools are meeting lunchroom standards in terms of food health, cleanliness, and reporting any problems quickly. Schools in Medford, Phoenix-Talent, and Eagle Point are run by Sodexo Food Service, who says those high standards should come with the territory.

According to the report, there were no critical complaints for schools in Jackson and Josephine counties. Sodexo’s General Manager in Southern Oregon, Jeff Ashmun, says it has people who are following where the food is coming from, all the way to the school cafeterias. That way, they ensure the food’s quality and preparation before it hits the plate. The general manager says it has been following its high standards even before similar ones were adopted for the entire state.

“It’s always gratifying to have validation that we’re doing a good job in taking care of the safety of our food and the safety of our kids,” says Ashmun.

The report says most school cafeteria inspection reports should be available for public viewing and the state education department inspects the lunchrooms. Much of the reports critical problems came from schools in the Salem-Keizer Area.