26,500 school cafeterias uninspected

Thousands of school cafeterias went uninspected in the 2007-08 school year, we report today in the fourth major installment of our “Trouble on the Tray” investigation into school lunch safety.

In today’s story, reporters Blake Morrison and Peter Eisler worked with me to examine data on the number of schools in each state that met a federal requirement to have two cafeteria inspections annually. We found that in eight states, more than half of schools reporting failed to meet that standard in 2006-07 and 2007-08 school years.

Meanwhile, the series continues to draw attention on Capitol Hill. This week, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., called on the federal government to increase its standards for meat used in school lunches and to cut contracts with companies that repeatedly did not meet standards.

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