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Fairfax Schools Students Reject All-Beef Burgers
They’ve been replaced with burgers that contain 26 ingredients. By Melissa Romero
Fairfax County Public Schools pulled the all-beef burgers from the lunch menus after students complained of the unappealing look and taste. They've been replaced with additive-laden burgers that contain 26 ingredients. Photograph via Shutterstock.
Comments () | Published October 8, 2013

In Fairfax County Public Schools’ cafeterias, the students are the customers. And their palates are not pleased.

As first reported by the Washington Post, this past September students in Fairfax County schools complained so much about the new all-beef burgers served at lunch that the county opted to switch back to burgers containing additives—25 of them, to be exact. 

Fairfax County began serving 100 percent beef patties in cafeterias in the spring of 2012, replacing an additive-laden burger that contained 27 ingredients. The move was praised by the groups like Real Food for Kids, which advocates for schools to stop serving highly processed foods with additives.

However, students grumbled about the strange look and taste of the all-beef patties. The schools’ food and nutrition services director Penny McConnell wrote to Real Food for Kids that the change was made “due to students’ poor acceptance of the [100 percent] burger. [ . . . ] Our students are our customers, and we listen to them and implement their requests if possible.”

The all-beef burgers have been replaced with a 26-ingredient burger from California-based Don Lee Farms, which previously sold the schools the 27-ingredient burger. The new burgers do not contain calcium pantothenate. They can be frozen for up to 12 months.

The move comes on the heels of Real Food for Kids’ initiative to remove regular soda from Fairfax County public schools’ vending machines. Currently, eight schools are involved in the program.

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  • Guest

    I don't know what the other 25 ingredients are, but Cal Pan, which was removed, is a source of the B Vitamin Pantothenic Acid. Are the "26 ingredients" actually foritfying nutrients?

  • Christine Manske Lies

    Children are NOT customers! They do as they are told. They wear bike helmets, sit in car seats and go to bed at 8pm. Adults are responsible for their health. This is appalling. My daughter would eat buttered bread and nutty bars if I treated her like a customer.

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