An investigation has been launched in New York City after more than two dozen public school kitchens were caught purchasing butter – and any worker caught using the banned substance could be fired.
“Please explain why your managers are ordering BUTTER!!!” read an email from a regional food manager obtained by New York Daily News.
The email outed 25 schools accused of ordering “excess butter” – amounting to as much as $148.
“Every Manager on this list has to get a disciplinary letter by close of business next Friday,” read the email sent to the offending kitchens.
At least one kitchen manager received a warning letter for using butter, the Daily News reported.
“If there is a repetition of this incident or similar incident, further disciplinary action will be taken against you which might lead to the termination of your employment with the Office of School Food,” the letter read.
Butter was unofficially banned from public school cafeterias in 2008 – although the Department of Education is wary of using the word.
“We’re not banning butter,” spokeswoman Margie Feinberg told the newspaper. “We just haven’t used it in our recipes since 2008.”
The school district said they stopped using butter to make food healthier. They also banned whole milk and white bread.
School Chancellor Dennis Walcott said the crackdown is not “crazy.”
“We have lofty guidelines that we set to make sure we reduce obesity and contribute to the health of our children,” he told the Daily News. “People shouldn’t be ordering butter.”
One mom told the Daily News that the city’s healthy-food crusade has gone too far.
“I don’t understand why the mayor is attacking butter,” parent Brooke Parker said. “What’s he got against butter> It’s not that bad for you. How about making sure kids have gym classes before they ban butter?”