BENNINGTON - Bugs were found in rice served to students at the Bennington Elementary School yesterday.

School Principal James Law said a student discovered the bugs in a meal and reported it to a school staff member, who in turn notified kitchen workers. The Abbey Group, which provides food services to the Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union (SVSU), stopped serving lunch immediately and reported the incident to the state, who in turn has reported it to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Law said more bugs were found in the bag of rice the kitchen had been using that day. The problem was discovered during the final lunch session, and a letter was sent home to parents informing them of the incident.

The rice was served with the hot meal for that day. Law said students have the option of getting a sandwich if they do not want the meal.

Maureen O'Neil, southern Vermont food service director for the Abbey Group, said the rice was supplied to the Abbey Group by the USDA through its commodities program. She said all rice supplied to the schools in the SVSU has been gathered up and will be disposed of. The Abbey Group will receive credit for the lost rice.

It is not known what type of bug was found.

This story will be updated later.

Contact Keith Whitcomb Jr. at kwhitcomb@benningtonbanner.com or follow him on Twitter @KWhitcombjr.



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