As kids get back into the school routine, many of them begin their day with breakfast in the school cafeteria.
Though KELOLAND News has done stories on the results of health inspections for area restaurants, cafeteria inspections often don't make headlines. However, districts including the Sioux Falls School District are held to same high standards of cleanliness and safety in order to keep serving.
"Sioux Falls Health Department visits us twice a year to make sure we are meeting those expectations to put out safe products to the students and customers that we serve," Joni Davis Child Nutrition Supervisor said.
It's something the district takes so seriously, it's the focus of the work here every day, not just when inspection time comes around.
"To do well on health and safety issues there is extra safety when working together, there is a constant reminder of learning and training and teaching of every employee," Davis said.
Schools are also scored just like restaurants, where every detail is looked at, everything from food temperature to those serving it up.
"It's based on a score of 100 and they check things like how our staff is dressed with the proper hair nets and hair restraints following proper procedures like washing hands wearing gloves and using the proper utensils for what we are doing," Davis said.
For Jane Addams Elementary, the standards are high. This year's score from the two unannounced visits were 99 in February and 98. According to the health department, the school lost points for surface issues. Meaning some area like a floor near a door, or ceiling wasn't in perfect shape.
At schools in the area it's not just the lunch staffs in the kitchen who are concerned about safety, principals at every school in the district also make these high standards a priority.
"We serve over 90 students in this building every morning, so it's very important that we know the health and safety standards for our food to make sure it's safe for all our children," Jane Hannemann Principal of Jane Addams Elementary School.
For Hannemann, it doesn't matter whether it's her students' education or what's being served on the school lunch trays, the standards, she says, are always the highest.
"The parents put these children into our hands so we try to make sure we meet all the things that are necessary," Hannemann said.
This is why from the moment things arrive, Davis and her team are working hard to go above and beyond safety standards.
"We have trucks coming in at 5 a.m. bringing us our foods and produce and it begins at that moment with those vendors that are bringing us their products, what are they keeping their temperatures at and how is their product coming to us," Davis said.
At Jane Addams, the school actually scored better than some of the best restaurants in town, all are based on the same standards and regulations. For example, Minerva's only scored a 90 and Tre Lounge a 92. Which may not seem low, but when it comes to food prep and sanitation the Health Department and area standards want both restaurants and schools above 96. According to City Health records, Jane Addams isn't alone, every school in the district scored a 98 or above.
To see the Health Departments official scoring, visit its website.