On October 10, Nebraska school cook Kevin Frei added a special ingredient into the chili for students.
In addition to beef, the Potter-Dix Public Schools employee mixed in meat he thought was “lean” and healthy — kangaroo.
It’s unclear how many students consumed meat from the Australian marsupial, but the school district’s superintendent has issued an apology for the incident, Yahoo Lifestyle reports.
In a letter to parents, Superintendent Mike Williams wrote:
Last Thursday, October 10, the Potter site kitchen served chili as its main course for lunch. Included in the meat for the chili was kangaroo meat that was mixed in with beef. When I found out that this happened, I discussed it with the head cook, Kevin Frei, he said he added the kangaroo meat because of its nutritional value because it was a very lean meat.
Williams said he did not agree with the decision to serve the kangaroo to students and that they should have been notified that “exotic” meat was being served. Williams wrote:
If a family wants to eat exotic foods, they can do so on their own time — not a school.
He said the school district “will no way be serving food of this nature again. Period.”
The superintendent did clarify that the meat met USDA standards and was safe for students to consume.
The cook responsible for serving the food has since lost his job, according to the Lincoln Journal Star.
It’s unclear if Williams alerted parents to the situation before they became aware, or if he spoke out in response to complaints.
The meat came from a food distributor. Yahoo Lifestyle reports some vendors sell kangaroo meat for around $15 a pound.
While kangaroo meat is edible, people in their home country of Australia look down upon its consumption because the adorable mammals are their national animal.
And it seems parents in Nebraska weren’t too thrilled to find out their kids were eating it either.