MANSON — It was a tedious job.
For two years, food-service workers at the Manson School District have been pulling those tiny labels off apples before serving them.
They had to, a food inspector with the Chelan-Douglas Health District had said.
Turns out, they didn’t.
- Designed in Seattle, this $1 cup could save millions of babies
- Trump, Clinton win Washington state primary
- Reed brother led detectives to bodies believed to be Arlington couple
- Boeing plans hundreds of layoffs in local IT unit
- Your vote counts so little in Tuesday’s primary election, John Oliver joked about it on ‘Last Week Tonight’
Most Read Stories
“It’s frustrating,” said Ken Nelson, director of food-service operations for the school district. Removing the tags from 650 apples that were served a couple of times a week at the schools took a lot of time, he said.
The food-service workers had gotten bad advice.
“Every so often we have someone doing inspections who goes a bit beyond actual requirements,” said Barry Kling, health-district administrator. “It wasn’t appropriate advice.”
Kling said he did not think the inspector gave the tag-removal advice to any other school districts.
The tag situation came to light about a month ago when a Manson food-service worker contacted Doug England, a health-district board member and Chelan County commissioner.
The food-service worker was hoping to find a quicker way to remove the tags.
England brought the subject up at the Feb. 28 health-board meeting and learned from Kling that removing the tags was not necessary.
“We suggest that people remove the label, but they don’t have to,” Kling said. “It’s not a major food-safety issue of any kind.”
The tags are used for brand and price information.
“It’s all food-grade material,” said Rick Goddard, senior vice president of sales for Sinclair Systems International, a local manufacturer of the widely used tags. “It’s inert so you’re not going to get any nutritional value out of it, but it’s not going to hurt you.”