And Just Where Was Tinker Bell In All This?
This just in: Children all over theHouston Independent School District
today had theirpeanut butter
sandwiches taken away from them at lunch time.
"By 9:45 we had checked every lunch. Each teacher went through the lunches of every child and we did not allow them to eat the sandwich if they brought any type of peanut butter," Lovett Elementary School Principal Susan Monaghan proudly proclaimed.
There were no reports of crying or screaming as the tykes meekly surrendered their P&Js to cafeteria staff and teachers. One thing that may have averted any rioting was that the district, at least in some schools like West University Elementary, sent out an electronic alert to parents, before the unilateral action.
Terry Abbott, head honcho in the HISD PR Department, actually was proud of the confiscation, which was NOT as first thought the result of lefty parents demanding an end to all peanut butter in the schools because some kids might be allergic.
No, this was far more intriguing. Poison. Well, at least contamination.
It turns out someone in the district had read the latest U.S. Food and Drug Administration memo recalling certain jars of peanut butter thought to be contaminated with Salmonella.
As the HISD press release stated:
Alerted by the FDA recall and fearful that parents might not know about it, HISD moved quickly Thursday morning to collect peanut butter sandwiches that children brought from home and replace them with safe sandwiches made in school cafeterias.
The Food and Drug Administration warned consumers Wednesday not to eat certain jars of Peter Pan peanut butter or Great Value peanut butter due to risk of contamination with Salmonella Tennessee (a bacterium that causes foodborne illness). The affected jars of Peter Pan and Great Value peanut butter have a product code located on the lid of the jar that begins with the number "2111."
The press release went on to say that at West U, Principal John Threet had several telephone calls from parents Thursday morning thanking him and a couple of parents confirmed they had indeed sent their children to school with the recalled peanut butter.
Whew, if only Homeland Security was this good. — Margaret Downing
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Houston Press' biggest stories.