“The Broward School District ordered all milk removed from school cafeterias Friday after 12 students at Cooper City Elementary were sent to the school clinic with stomachaches and other children complained that it tasted funny.
The district sent an automated phone message to parents Friday. It also notified its supplier, McArthur Dairy, which sent workers to collect the milk from all Broward schools, according to Nadine Drew, a district spokeswoman.
The off-tasting milk was the result of fumes wafting inside McArthur’s plant in Miami on Wednesday, according to Liliana Esposito, a spokeswoman for Dean Foods in Dallas, the parent company of McArthur Dairy.
“The construction material that caused the fumes, which affected our milk, was an epoxy that was being used to seal the floor,” Esposito said.
The fumes affected pre-packaged half-pints, and the company delivered them to schools, unaware of what happened, she said. “We regret that this happened, and we apologize for the fact that it happened,” she said, saying the accident was inconsistent with the company’s high standards.
McArthur consulted with a material manufacturer and health professionals who concluded the milk posed no health risk, said C. Bradley Abell, McArthur’s vice president and general manager, in a letter to the district.
But parents with concerns still should consult their children’s physician, Abell said.
About 200,000 half-pints of milk are typically sent in bulk to the district, Esposito said. “That doesn’t mean that every carton in the [milk-production] run was affected,” she said.
The events that led to the recall began Thursday afternoon, when the district’s Food and Nutrition Services office was notified by Cooper City Elementary that, during lunch, there were complaints about the odd taste of chocolate milk.
The cafeteria manager immediately removed the chocolate milk and replaced it with white milk, officials said. In the afternoon, 12 students were sent to the clinic with stomachaches. Their names or conditions weren’t available Friday.
The district thought the incident was resolved Thursday, but there were more complaints Friday during breakfast.
At about 8:30 a.m. Friday, students at Cooper City Elementary, as well as Driftwood Middle in Hollywood, complained about milk, both white and chocolate, tasting strange….”
Photo from the school’s website.