Educator claims moldy food is served at after-school program

Published: Mar. 1, 2023 at 5:10 PM EST
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - Cornell Cooperative Extension has launched an investigation into the food being served at an after-school program at a Watertown school. It launched this morning after an educator claimed the food had mold.

“I just want to talk about something that’s been happening for a while. Moldy food,” said Liliana Ruiz as she addressed Tuesday night’s Watertown school board meeting

The educator claims moldy food has been a constant issue at an after-school 4-H program at Wiley Intermediate School. Ruiz says she has addressed the issue before, but not to the school board.

“Knowing that no one from Wiley or my colleagues have done anything is also a concern to me,” she said.

Ruiz says she is also concerned parents hadn’t been notified of the quality of the food, but members of the school board revealed they hadn’t even known about it.

“I can assure you no one at this table knows about that. We wouldn’t stand for it and we will be looking into it,” said one board member.

Ruiz says some examples include moldy carrots and curdled milk.

“More than half of the kids ate it without knowing. Only a few of the kids were like, ‘Ugh, what’s this?’ And that’s not acceptable,” she said.

Ruiz told the board she had photos. 7 News reached out to obtain them but did not hear back.

Cornell Cooperative Extension began an investigation Wednesday morning and is working to schedule interviews.

In a statement to 7 News Wednesday, interim superintendent Roger Adams wrote, “The Watertown City School District greatly values its relationship with Cornell Cooperative Extension and its 4-H Program and has had an outstanding partnership with the agency for many years. At this time, the 4-H program is conducting an investigation. We have no statement until such time as the investigation is complete.”