An investigation into how 12 elementary school students in Juneau, Alaska, were served floor sealant instead of milk at a child care program has revealed the chemical was mistakenly stored in a food warehouse, school district officials said.
By Chris Boyette, Michelle Watson and Elizabeth Wolfe (https://www.cnn.com)
In the spring of 2021, one pallet of floor sealant was erroneously delivered as part of a shelf-stable milk shipment to a warehouse used to store food for the Juneau School District, the district said in its latest update.
The floor sealant was later served to a group of students at the RALLY summer care program held at Sitʼ Eeti Shaanáx̱-Glacier Valley Elementary School as part of the breakfast, according to the district. Soon after, the students began complaining the milk they were served tasted bad and was burning their throats and mouths, the district said.
The investigation found the outside contractor responsible for making student breakfasts ran out of milk and sent staff to the warehouse to get more. Three boxes of the sealant were retrieved, one of which was brought back to the school, the district said.
In all, the district said, 12 children and two adults drank the chemical believing it was milk. After the children complained, staff “immediately smelled and tasted the ‘milk’ and looked at the container labels,” and quickly found the children had actually been given “slightly scented liquid floor sealant resembling milk,” the district said.