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Administrative judge recommends city fire school cafeteria manager who served Bronx kids recalled food and ignored broken freezer


An administrative law judge has recommended the city fire a food service manager who exposed Bronx elementary school students to expired and recalled food, and repeatedly ignored a broken freezer despite warnings from her supervisors.

Britten Logan worked as a school food service manager in school district 10 in the Bronx for eight years, and was responsible for overseeing 1,500 meals a day in the cafeterias of P.S. 33 in Fordham Heights, and P.S. 59 and its annex in Belmont.

Logan “routinely failed to perform to minimum standards and steadfastly refused to implement the most simple safety precaution" over 13 months in 2017 and 2018, Administrative Law Judge Joycelyn McGeachy-Kuls ruled last month.

Her supervisors repeatedly asked her to perform that precaution — putting a penny in a cup of frozen water in each freezer, to see if the freezer loses power and the penny sinks into the water as it thaws, according to the judge’s ruling.

Logan’s supervisors started noticing problems in February 2017, when a visit at P.S. 59 revealed incorrect menus, a dirty kitchen, no expiration dates on grocery items and a broken freezer, according to the judge’s rulings. More visits revealed more problems including defrosted, inedible food, no hot lunch on some days because of broken equipment and food shortages.

Most seriously, on Jan. 8, 2018, her supervisor found romaine lettuce at a salad bar at P.S. 33, despite a warning about possible contamination, and a city-wide edict not to use romaine lettuce and to reject any deliveries of it.

Logan testified at her administrative trial she didn’t know about the contaminated lettuce problem until 11 a.m. that day because “it was not her responsibility to read work e-mails if she is not on duty,” and she didn’t check e-mails that morning because she was busy serving breakfast, the judge wrote.

“(Logan’s) consistent excuse when questioned about deficiencies in her kitchens was that the fault lies with someone else’s fault or that it was “everyone’s responsibility” to do her job,” McGeachy-Kuls wrote.

The city Education Department gave Logan “the maximum suspension,” which is 30 days, and will make a final decision next month on whether she’s fired, department spokeswoman Danielle Filson said Thursday.

Logan could not be reached for comment Thursday.