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article imageAll-beef burgers taken off Fairfax County schools' menus

By Dawn Denmar     Oct 7, 2013 in Food
Fairfax - All-beef burgers are now off the menu for school cafeterias in Fairfax County, VA, following student complaints they were pink in the middle. The patties have been replaced by hamburgers with additives, containing up to 26 ingredients.
Fairfax County public schools (FCPS) had replaced their original hamburgers with all-beef burgers in a move to fresh and nutritious foods. Students did not seem too impressed by the new "healthy" hamburgers though. School officials received a number of complaints about the appearance and taste of the new burgers, so in September Fairfax County school cafeterias quietly replaced their healthy option all-beef burgers with hamburgers reputedly containing up to 26 ingredients.
Penny McConnell, the district's food and nutritional service director, commented: "Students are our customers and we listen to them and implement their requests if possible."
The switch to all-beef burgers in spring 2012 originally followed concerns raised about the ingredients in school hamburgers, particularly a filler product known as "pink slime" which is a lean, finely textured beef. The schools say the new burgers do not contain pink slime.
The Fairfax schools’ kitchens precook all burgers and then re-heat them before serving. The students' complaints about all-beef burgers having pink in the middle were likely due to a lack of caramel coloring additives commented Ryan McElveen, a school board member. He added that the school board should move fast to find an alternative all-beef burger, saying: “While FCPS is claiming that this does not have pink slime, it’s worrisome. What we’re serving is still safe but by no means ideal.”
The USDA School Nutrition Dietary Assessment study of 2009/10 aimed to improve the daily diets of students while they're in education and relay the message about healthy eating. It seems the students of Fairfax County have managed to continue their unhealthy eating habits for the moment.
More about Virginia, Fairfax, healthy beef burgers, student complaints, Hamburgers
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