As a student, I often questioned the "material" that littered my lunch tray. Now you know when it comes to food I am not very picky. I really enjoy food. However there were days when I would reach for the "safe" peanut butter and jelly sandwhich over the "mystery meat" on the main menu. Maybe this story explains everything. Expired food has been found lingering in public school cafeterias across Massachusetts, sent from warehouses up to six weeks past “use by” dates. The state Department of Education said Friday that roughly a dozen schools reported expired food shipments or sought guidance on an inconsistent system for dating food. Expired school cafeteria food first surfaced in

Boston last month. The problem has since been detected statewide. In the wake of the find, school officials asked the U.S. Agriculture Department to institute more uniform coding to date food. Currently, some packages are labeled with an expiration date, others with a packaged-on stamp, some with best-if-used-by and some with no date. USDA guidelines complicate matters further, saying food products may be fine to eat well after the date listed. In Boston, officials identified 280 cases of food with questionable dates in 40 of its 46 full service kitchens that ultimately serve 135 schools. Some product dates were as old as 2009. Officials also recently identified 3,000 cases of food at a storage facility with questionable dates.