Parker cafeteria health rating: Perfect

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Frank Schultz
Wednesday, November 13, 2013

JANESVILLE—It’s not every day that someone accomplishes something considered impossible. Staff members at Parker High School can say they have done it.

The Parker cafeteria kitchen recently received a 100 percent rating from the Rock County Health Department inspector.

Jim Degan, manager of food services, said he has never heard of a perfect score. Inspectors always find something.

“We thought it was impossible,” said Annie Lobrano, kitchen manager at Parker.

Degan, Lobrano and Laurie   Meehan,   the   assistant manager of food services, stood before the school board Tuesday night to receive praise and applause.

“Parents can send their children to school and realize that it’s probably the cleanest, safest food environment that you’ll see anywhere in the country,” Degan said.

Degan said federal rules required schools to enact a plan starting in 2008 to improve kitchen safety and sanitation, and the district’s kitchens’ average score has improved since then, from 82 to 96.5.

Degan said he and his staff weren’t sure how they could improve on that.

The inspector checks things such as cleanliness and foods kept at proper temperatures, but he also quizzes staff on kitchen procedures. Points are deducted for wrong answers.

“It shows you have top-notch staff, because that’s how you get that score,” said board member Scott Feldt.

“I agree,” Degan said.

Degan said honors also should go, in part, to custodians and maintenance staff.

All this is not to say that kitchens at the rest of the district’s schools are slouches. Degan said the district on the whole is on track to average a health-inspection score of 97 to 98 this year.

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