Piece of slicer blade found in school lunch in Okinawa City

A piece of a food slicer blade broke off in the 2nd Supply Center of School Meals in Goeku, Okinawa City, and went into a lunch served at an elementary school. The piece was found in the lunch of a 6th-grade student who spat it out. He was not injured.

The staff recognized the fact when washing the slicer after the meals had been delivered, but they did not stop the lunch being served. According to the manual by Okinawa Prefecture, the meals must be stopped before serving if there is any possibility of something getting into them. The supply center also failed to make an obligatory report of the incident.

According to Okinawa City Board of Education, the slicer was used to cut vegetables. The piece that broke off was 5mm by 9 mm in size. The staff found that the blade was bent when washing the slicer, and realized that it was damaged. When they checked after receiving a report from the school, it was confirmed that the piece in the lunch was the part of the damaged slicer.

The 2d Supply Center of School Meals makes 5,200 meals per day to be delivered to five elementary and three junior high schools in Okinawa City. For the fact that they did not stop the delivery, Okinawa City Board of Education explained, “They decided not to stop, as all meals had already been delivered and the lunch time had already started at some schools.”

The Board apologized to the student and his parents. However, they did not send an explanation to all parents. The Board says, “We would like to announce of our apologies and further steps to prevent this kind of incident happening. We also would like to submit a report to the Prefecture.”

This was not the first incident involving the supply center. A dead rat was found Oct. 4th by a drain of a dishwasher in the Supply Center. A dead cockroach was found between dishes in the same elementary school where the incident occurred on Dec. 5th. Both incidents were not reported to the Prefectural Board of Education or student’s parents.