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Pepperell middle schoolers fall ill from undercooked chicken nuggets

Nissitissit Middle School, which is back to four days of in-person learning per week
Nissitissit Middle School, which is back to four days of in-person learning per week

PEPPERELL — Students of Nissitissit Middle School became ill after school officials said they were served undercooked chicken nuggets that were provided by the district’s cafeteria vendor, Fresh Picks Café.

North Middlesex Regional School District Superintendent Brad Morgan released a statement on Friday saying that administration at the Pepperell middle school learned on Oct. 27 that approximately 15 students received the undercooked chicken nuggets with their lunch.

Morgan said school staff immediately alerted Fresh Picks Café and a new lunch was prepared for the affected students, some of whom later reported to the nurse’s office with stomach illnesses.

Morgan revealed two additional students fell ill on Thursday after they were again served undercooked chicken nuggets.

According to Morgan, the North Middlesex Regional School District has contracted with Fresh Picks Café since 2020 and the company has had no prior food safety issues during its contract.

“Members of the North Middlesex School District administration will meet with leadership from Fresh Picks on Friday to address the current issues and ensure this does not occur again,” Morgan said. “The North Middlesex School District takes the nutrition and quality of school lunch very seriously, and will work with Fresh Picks to ensure the quality and safety of food is up to the standards expected by the North Middlesex Regional School District.”

Fresh Picks Café was not immediately available for comment.

Follow Aaron Curtis on Twitter @aselahcurtis

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