Lenoir City High School leaders address viral pictures of school lunches

Published: Sep. 21, 2017 at 5:20 PM EDT
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Concerned guardians from Lenoir City High School sent Local 8 News pictures of what they called questionable school lunches. Local 8 News Reporter Sarah Jane Anderson went to the school to get the issue worked out.

Tammy Bright is a 1979 Lenoir City graduate, but her granddaughter, a student there now, told her the food looks a lot different these days.

"We had great food, but the people that was over the cafeteria took pride in their job," Bright said.

Bright called the food "slop" after seeing pictures of some shriveled up hot dogs and mini corn dogs.

Nutrition Supervisor Vicki Bivens told Local 8 News the hot dogs are actually turkey dogs that were cooked as if they were beef.

"The head cook prepared the hot dogs the same way, but the turkey dog did not hold up well. They informed me that the turkey dogs were pulled from the serving line as soon as they noticed the difference," said Bivens. "I went to every kitchen and informed them to pull any and all turkey dogs and return them to the distributor."

Local 8 News also reached out to a health professional in Knox County about the meals pictured. They said it's hard to tell if food is unsafe to eat based on a picture. They said it's a common misconception, but discolored meat does not mean you will get sick from eating it—it depends on which temperature the meat was cooked at. Hot dogs are usually precooked.

However, Tammy Bright said, she just wants the cafeteria to serve food students will want to eat.

"I talked to a worker that said it's unbelievable, the food that is thrown out every day. There's more thrown out than there are served. Well, when you look at it, I can understand that," said Bright.

Bivens added, "Employees that work in the Lenoir City Cafeterias work hard to provide the best possible product for each of their kids. When and if things arise, they always do their best to take care of any issue. I am proud to work beside everyone of these ladies."

Bivens has since made an effort to contact Bright through Local 8 News.