Fairfax County replaces all-beef burgers after student gripes

Photo: Steven Depolo via Flickr

FAIRFAX, Va. (WJLA) - In recent years, school systems across the nation have made an effort to make school lunches healthier. In Fairfax County, that included switching to all-beef hamburgers, but recently the school system made a switch without telling the parents. Now many want to know what's in the new hamburger patty.

School cafeterias used to serve 100-percent beef patties, but school officials say students didn't like how those burgers tasted.

“Two of my kids eat the cafeteria food and I actually have heard them complain... as they get healthier that they’re not good anymore,” says Julie Miner, a parent.

The school’s solution was to switch to another burger.

“I would say it’s important that kids eat what is in front of them so that they do eat a balanced meal,” says Andrea Henry, a parent.

The new burger contains 26 other ingredients and isn’t 100-percent beef. Parents say they were never told about the change.

In response, Fairfax County Schools released the following statement:

"This change was based on the poor acceptance of the 100-percent beef precooked patties. Prior to being added to the menu, each item is fully vetted by the professional staff in FNS and goes through our student acceptability process. Don Lee Farms was selected as the most responsive bidder in the procurement process for this item. FNS will continue to search the market and work with manufacturers and students to find an acceptable 100-percent beef precooked pattie."

But parents say they still don’t know what’s in the new patties, which include soy.

“It would be nice to know what’s in them if they’re not beef,” Miner says.

Fairfax County Schools didn’t send a note to parents, but the school district has listed the ingredients on its website.

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