More than a quarter of the nation’s schools participating in the National School Lunch Program failed to get the USDA mandated two annual health inspections of their foodservice facilities in the 2007-08 school year, reports USA Today. Of the 26,500 schools that failed to meet that requirement, about a third, 8,500, didn’t get inspected even once.
The mandate, contained in the Child Nutrition Act, is loosely enforced and monitored, USA Today’s investigation found. The law does not specify penalties for schools failing to meet the requirement, and states are not required to identify schools that fail to meet the requirement to the USDA, only the total number inspected. The figure for 2007-08 is actually an improvement over the previous year, when 32 percent failed the requirement. In 2007-08 it was 28 percent.