OAK RIDGE, Tenn. – No child became sick, but the thought of finding mouse remains in cooked green beans at a preschool lunch has officials feeling ill.
About half of the Oak Ridge Preschool's 206 students had been served Wednesday when a teacher distributing the meals spotted what looked like rodent remains.
Philadelphia-based Aramark Corp., which provides food service management to Oak Ridge and more than 420 other public and private school systems around the country, was investigating, spokeswoman Karen Cutler said Thursday.
"The object has not been identified. There is no confirmation of what the object is until it is tested," Cutler said, noting that the local health department considered the health risk so minor "they declined to come out. They are not going to take any samples or anything."
Principal Marian Phillips said the children were unaware of the problem "because they didn't see anything. The teacher handled it in a way a professional should."
All of the cooked green beans and remaining cans of green beans were immediately pulled, Assistant Superintendent Ken Green said, and a letter was sent home to parents.
Officials believe whatever it was entered the green beans during the "prepackaging process," Green said, before they were cooked and served at the school.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Anderson County Health Department and parents of the 3- and 4-year-old students were notified. Health department official Dr. Paul Erwin described the health risk to students as "minimal if any."
Parents were "very understanding," Phillips said.