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Undercooked chicken served to Princeton students

Photo contributed to Bluefield Daily Telegraph
Photo contributed to Bluefield Daily Telegraph

PRINCETON, W.Va. — School officials sought answers Tuesday after there were reports of local middle school students being served undercooked chicken for lunch.

The incident went viral Monday evening on local social media after a photograph of what looked like raw chicken on a Princeton Middle School student’s lunch tray was posted. Principal Danny Buckner said the servings were “a mistake.”

“We had a problem yesterday at lunch; a pan of chicken was pulled before it was cooked. Only about 20 children were served the chicken and it was only about five minutes before school cooks noticed and made the children throw away the chicken and gave them another option,” Buckner told the Bluefield Daily Telegraph Tuesday morning.

The school had not had any reports of anyone being sick, Buckner added.

Pamela Reid, director of child nutrition for Mercer County Schools, went to Princeton Middle School on Tuesday to review the kitchen’s procedures.

“I went to make sure the procedures for cooking foods were properly in place and that proper procedures are being followed by every cook,” Reid said. The correct procedures were followed Tuesday, but the incident is still being reviewed.

“We had a major error yesterday” she said. “We are still investigating, because there are five people involved, to find out exactly what went wrong.”

Reid stated that she had not seen problems with undercooked food before Monday’s incident.

“I’ve been here two years,” she said. “There have been no reports of raw food being served.”

The chicken served Monday had been in the oven, so it was undercooked, Reid said.

“It was found out immediately and the trays were discarded, and they were given a different meal. It was a grilled cheese sandwich with vegetables and a salad bar, fresh fruit and milk,” she stated. “The first 350 (students) received quality meals. The last 20 in line received the undercooked chicken…

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