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Soil sealant served to students in place of milk was mistakenly stocked in food storage, Alaska School District says – Boston News, Weather, Sports

An investigation into how 12 elementary school students in Juneau, Alaska were served Soil sealing instead of milk A child care program found the chemical was mistakenly stored at a grocery store, school district officials said.

In the spring of 2021, a pallet of floor sealer was mistakenly shipped as part of a shelf-life milk shipment to a warehouse that stores groceries for the Juneau School District, the district said in its latest update.

That ground seal was later served to a group of students from the RALLY summer care program held at Sitʼ Eeti Shaanáx̱-Glacier Valley Elementary School as part of the children’s breakfast, the district said. Soon after, students complained that the milk they were being served tasted bad and was burning their throats and mouths, the district said.

The investigation revealed that the outside contractor responsible for preparing the student breakfast ran out of milk and was sending workers to the warehouse to get more. Three boxes of sealant were seized, one of which was returned to the school, the district said.

In all, the district said, 12 children and two adults drank the chemical, believing it was milk. After the kids complained, “the staff immediately smelled and tasted the ‘milk’ and looked at the container labels” and quickly realized that the kids had indeed been given “lightly scented liquid floor finish that resembles milk,” he said District.

When RALLY employees and workers from outside contractor NANA Management Services (NMS) noticed the error, a RALLY site manager contacted poison control, the district said.

After parents were notified, some students were taken to a nearby hospital or their medical provider, the district said, adding that some children experienced headaches and nausea in addition to burning sensations in their mouths and throats.

On Wednesday night, the district said all 12 students had recovered and some had made a full recovery.

Two of the other soil seal boxes retrieved from storage were shipped to two other schools, where they remained unopened, the district said.

“The Juneau School District School Board was shocked to learn of the food service error that occurred earlier this week,” the statement said. “Our immediate priority is the students affected by the incident and ensuring their recovery and continued safety.

“The Board is working to understand how this happened and to ensure we have adequate safeguards in place to prevent these types of errors from occurring again.”

The investigation into the incident is ongoing and includes the involvement of the school district, the City and County of Juneau, NMS, the Alaska Department of Environmental Protection and the Juneau Police Department, the statement said.

The school district also said it has been in contact with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Department of Education and Early Development, the Department of Labor and the Department of Health and Human Services.

What the school is doing about it

All sealants at the school have been captured and stored outside of food court areas, the school district said, and the food storage facility has been inspected to ensure it now only contains food.

“On Wednesday, the Alaska Department of Food Safety and Sanitation (DEC) inspected the facility and operations. DEC Food Safety approved the facility for continued operation,” the statement said.

DEC is also conducting an investigation and expects to follow up on the recommendations. The district is also preparing to submit “corrective action plans” to the DEC, the statement said.

The school also said there was a delay in notifying parents after the bug was discovered, prompting them to evaluate the program’s communication logs for faster alerts.

“There was a delay in notifying parents that was longer than it should have been. This resulted in families learning about the situation from other people, which is not best practice,” the district statement said.

The Juneau School District Board of Education will hold a special public meeting Friday that will be attended by representatives from the NMS, it said.

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https://whdh.com/news/floor-sealant-served-to-students-instead-of-milk-was-mistakenly-stored-in-food-warehouse-alaska-school-district-says/ Soil sealant served to students in place of milk was mistakenly stocked in food storage, Alaska School District says – Boston News, Weather, Sports

Nate Jones

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