MIDDLEBURG, Fla. – Some Middleburg High School students likely lost their appetites after discovering some unwanted guests had decided to join them for lunch: live maggots making themselves at home on students' cafeteria trays.
In a six-second video clip shared with News4Jax, a lone maggot can be seen crawling out from beneath a pile of tater tots. “See it?” one student can be heard saying to another, who replies: “Oh, that’s nasty as hell, bro.”
A student who spoke with News4Jax on the condition of anonymity said multiple teens seated at her lunch table noticed maggots in their school lunches last Thursday, a sight that made their skin crawl.
In a statement released through a spokesperson, the Clay County School District confirmed the insects were found in lunches served to Middleburg High School students Oct. 15, calling it an isolated incident.
The statement said the school district’s director of food and nutrition, along with the school’s cafeteria staff, took immediate steps to address the incident. They found that several packets inside a box of pre-packaged ketchup had exploded at the bottom of the box, which attracted the insects in the first place.
“The (insect) unknowingly transferred on the ketchup packet and was served during lunch,” the statement said.
Afterward, the spokesperson said, school staff immediately threw out the box, deep cleaned the cafeteria and kitchen, and inspected all food items and boxes in the kitchen and storage areas.
“Clay County District Schools follows all food and sanitation guidelines from the Florida Department of Health and all facilities are updated on all inspections. This was an isolated incident and the District has not experienced any other issues like this," the statement said.
Still, the incident was unsettling enough to give at least one student second thoughts.
“It was disgusting,” said the unnamed student, who added that she will be packing her lunch for a while. “It made me not want to eat any school food.”