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State slaps school eatery

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By David Giuliani

The state has downgraded the cafeteria at Valley Elementary and Middle School to unsatisfactory status.

In an inspection last week, the state Environment Department found violations involving improper holding temperatures, plumbing and waste disposal, and inadequate cooking and cooling.

The department said it will reinspect the cafeteria after corrective measures are taken. Meanwhile, an “unsatisfactory” grade emblem is posted at the facility’s entrance, according to a department press release.

A couple of years ago, the kitchen was remodeled as part of a major construction project at Valley, handled by Santa Rosa-based Sena Construction.

Jim Abreu, superintendent of the West Las Vegas schools, said the district is trying to fix the problems as soon as possible. He said it’s easier to do so now that students are out of school for the summer.

Abreu said the district will have to tear out some plumbing and fix the dishwasher hood, which isn’t adequate. He said the district’s project manager, Jerry Maestas, has been working on the problems for several weeks.

The district doesn’t plan to seek any recourse from the contractor for the problems, Abreu said.

“I don’t want to lay fault anywhere. We just want to fix this really quickly,” he said.