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February 18, 2020

Pizza pulled from schools after rodent droppings discovered

SOLEDAD — Pizzas were pulled from Soledad elementary schools this week after students found rodent droppings in their slices.

The contaminated pizza was discovered Tuesday, Feb. 19, at San Vicente Elementary. Once the staff was aware of the contamination, they removed any pizza from students and in the ovens. The kitchen staff then notified authorities and an inspection was conducted.

Notices were sent out to parents and students Thursday from the Soledad Unified School District, informing them of the incident.

According to Superintendent Tim Vanoli, the school’s kitchens, food storage, preparation and serving areas were inspected by a pest control agency, which found no signs of pests or animals.

“We had the health department here three weeks ago and they inspected all of our kitchens and gave them all gold seals,” Vanoli said. “The next logical step was maybe it’s in the supply chain.”

The district said the contaminated pizza supply was limited to one campus, but to be safe, pizza was removed from all the elementary school menus. Vanoli said the pizza is different than the kind served at Soledad High School and Main Street Middle School.

“We don’t know how many students this affected, but all indications are that things should be fine,” Vanoli said.

Soledad Unified School District is currently working with a contracted management company to track the problem back to its source, and the Monterey County Health Department has also become involved.


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