School Cafeteria Horror Stories

There are a lot of great things about being an adult: you don’t have a bedtime, you can watch R-rated movies whenever you want, and you don’t have to eat lunch in a school cafeteria. It’s been a while since we’ve had to eat in a school lunchroom, but the nightmares of square pizza and mystery meat hamburgers still haunt us. The only food that we actually remember enjoying is the Friday afternoon ice cream, and according to the FDA, even that was tainted. We should have known it was too good to be true. If you want to ruin your appetite or just take in the ineptitude of the modern school system, this list of school cafeteria horror stories will knock your socks off.

After you drop off your tray of pink slime with the lunch monitor, vote on which of these public school facts are the worst.


  • 1
    459 VOTES

    Fourth Grader Exposes NYC School Lunch Program

    In 2013, a NYC fourth grader named Zachary filmed a documentary about the discrepancies found between the listings for his school lunches, and what he was actually served. The end product is not only shocking, but also pretty funny.
  • 2
    350 VOTES

    The Expiration Date Strikes Back

    22 kids fell ill in San Diego after drinking an expired beverage that "may have been milk." The fact that people in charge of the school didn't know which expired beverage they were serving is not only gross, but it's just a mockery of bureaucratic oversight - at least know which one of your food items is making kids sick! 
  • 3
    319 VOTES

    It's Almost Impossible to Shut Down a School Cafeteria

    Even though school cafeterias are under the jurisdiction of their local health department it's super hard to shut them down, even if they are rife with critical violations.
  • 4
    392 VOTES

    Isn't 25 Ingredients Too Many?

    Though we're not all chefs, or scientists (or even chef scientists), most people can probably agree that the food the world's children are eating should have pronounceable ingredients. What do you think?