Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "cafeterias" ...

  • Food Plight: Cafeteria Inspections Reveal Critical Health Violations at New York City Schools

    Our reporters scoured reams of health inspection records and discovered that nearly half of New York City public school cafeterias were hit with at least one critical violation in 2017. A closer look found that the four dozen schools with the worst inspections records largely serve some of the city’s poorest students. The most sickening cases include schools where 600 rodent droppings and 1,500 flies were found in food preparation and consumption areas – conditions that are breeding grounds for potentially dangerous food-borne illnesses. Our team of students conceived of the story and used the data, obtained from the New York City Health Department under New York’s Freedom of Information Law, to create a filterable interactive graphic that parents can use to uncover details of violations found at their child’s school.
  • Kids at Peril: Dangerous School Food

    A look into the school cafeterias of the Houston Independent School District and poor conditions which the food is being stored. The 400,000 kids in the district are at risk for food-borne-illness or, in some cases, death. Kitchens did not keep track of the temperature of the food to prevent illness, but instead would not let food sit out for more than a four hour period.
  • School Food Safety; School Lunches: Illness On Menu

    The Tribune reports on school food illness outbreaks across the United States. The series finds that "dangerous practices exist in the factories where school food is made and in the kitchens and cafeterias where it is warmed and served." The government inspection system for monitoring the $5-billion-per-year school-food business is flawed. It is often difficult to trace spoiled food because subcontractors' identities are rarely disclosed to school officials. The reporter looks at a notorious case in which 1,200 children in North Dakota were sickened by contaminated tortillas.
  • Tainted meal, tainted system

    The Star-Tribune found after 18 Minneapolis grade children became sick that their school was never inspected by the state, county or city sanitarians. In addition, "cafeterias in more than 300 other schools in the state had never been inspected", and numerous other schools had only begun implementing sanitation standards in recent months. The parents of children who could have eaten contaminated food were never notified by their schools."The state and federal systems designed to find the source of contaminated food didn't work and the USDA gave conflicting accounts about whether the meat was contaminated at all." This story lead to Minnesota legislators forming a Children's Environmental Health Issues committee to implement that all school cafeterias are inspected for sanitation.
  • Reading, Writing and Roaches

    The New York Post's computer analysis of health inspection records revealed that a third of New York City public schools maintained filthy, vermin-infested cafeterias, putting some 1.1 million school children at risk. "... (It) also exposed toothless health regulations: Although the city Department of Health routinely inspects school kitchens and cafeterias, an unwritten policy ensures the Board of Education is never cited for violations."
  • In Harm's Way, But In the Dark: Workers Exposed to Plutonium at U.S. Plant

    The Washington Post reports that "Thousands of uranium workers were unwittingly exposed to plutonium and other highly radioactive metals (in Paducah, KY) at a federally owned plant where contamination spread through work areas, locker rooms and even cafeterias....Today, the Department of Energy contends that worker exposure was minimal and that contamination is being cleaned up. A lawsuit filed under seal in June by three current plant employees alleges that radiation exposure was a problem at Paducah well into the 1990s...."
  • (Untitled)

    "H.I.S.D. Food" was an investigation into the theft, lax security, lax supervision and food waste in the State of Texas' largest public school district. KTRK-TV videotaped cafeteria workers taking school food, documented disappearing and wasted school food, and exposed sloppy supervision of school cafeterias. (May 1 - 10, 1996)
  • (Untitled)

    Education Week investigates food served in America's school cafeterias and the particular challenge of feeding middle-school-age children. School cafeteria cooks are given the task of trying to please students with healthy but often tasteless food provided in mass quantities by the government. (May 1, 1996)