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Orcutt elementary students served moldy juice

An Orcutt mother is looking for answers after her children brought home moldy and expired juice from Pine Grove Elementary School.

Linda Lujan’s 10-year-old son Chase and 6-year-old daughter Grace arrived home from school Friday afternoon with sack lunches. Inside, a box of apple juice covered in green mold.

“When I was jostling it around, I noticed something was floating in it,” said Lujan. “I ended up ripping open the top, and simply finding a bunch of filth.”

Chase also brought home a juice box on November 3, which he waited until the next day to open. One box had expired that day before being sent home with Lujan’s son. A second box, given to the 10-year-old on November 3, had expired on October 28, six days before it was handed out at school.

“Somebody needs to answer for this, somebody needs to take responsibility,” said Lujan.

The incident has raised concerns over the food and drinks children are consuming at local schools.

The Orcutt Union School District could not be reached for comment on Saturday. Friday night, superintendent Debbie Blows told a local newspaper she was not aware of the incident and would investigate on Monday.

Dean Foods is the distributor that produces the expired apple juice. They released the following statement:

“Apple juice is a fresh, perishable product. The code date, or sell-by date, listed on the package is a reliable quality guideline provided the juice has been stored properly. We’ll be working with the school this week to understand what may have happened in this situation.”

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