Wake County Schools

During flu season, parents complain about lunch cleaning procedures at Wake County schools

Posted January 31, 2018 5:12 p.m. EST
Updated July 13, 2018 2:07 p.m. EDT

— The current flu season is proving to be especially dangerous, and that's causing some parents to voice concern about cleaning procedures at Wake County schools.

Parents said the school sometimes uses water, instead of disinfectants. A petition on Change.org had more than 700 signatures and counting as of Wednesday afternoon.

A concerned parent started the petition after learning her children's school cleaned cafeteria tables with water during the day.

Kira Kroboth has two sons at Partnership Elementary School and found out that cafeteria tables were only wiped down with water between lunch periods.

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Her petition requests that Wake County schools consider alternatives for disinfecting and sanitizing tables between these periods.

She says her concern is not only for her son, who has a severe food allergy, but is also heightened by this year's flu season.

"[Water] is just smearing around everything," she said. "Which is dangerous if he comes home with something on his hands, but not to mention the germs and I just cannot imagine how many germs are on that surface with the magnitude of kids that come through."

Wake County schools responded to the claim in a statement.

"The rapid turn-around of students in our cafeteria during lunch sessions does not allow for the safe use of chemicals for all children. Wake County Schools Child Nutrition Services uses a surface sanitizer on tables after breakfast sessions and after the final lunch session," a spokesperson said.

The school system said it considers the safety of all students, including those with food allergies.

But Kroboth said she doesn't think it's enough.

"We need to do some kind of research to find a product that can be done quickly between class periods, and if we have to delay lunch minutes to give a product time to dry, fine," she said.

Kroboth is a family member of a WRAL.com staffer.