Special Guest Pest at Rachael Ray Lunch Launch

Reporter spots roach scurrying across countertop

New healthier lunches are on the way to New York City public schools with the unveiling of Rachael Ray’s nutritious lunches at Public School 89 in Tribeca, but a special guest cockroach raised questions about school cleanliness, the Daily News reported.

The six-legged pest was seen scurrying across the countertop just feet away from where Ray was discussing the importance of nutritious food. As far as we know, "nutritious" food doesn't include cockroaches.

The talk show host’s publicist shooed the bug away in plain sight of a Daily News reporter who later asked Ray about the situation.

“What?” an astonished Ray said, according to the paper. “I didn’t see that. It’s unfortunate if there was [a bug]. I think that these schools strive to be the best across the board; I’m sure that includes cleanliness.”

The environment at the school kitchen was clean and fantastic, Ray said after an earlier look at the area.

School officials said they would solve the problem. Needless to say, they were embarrassed.

“We have the highest standard,” chief executive for school foods, Eric Goldstein, told the Daily News. “If there is any reported problem, we aggressively jump on it.”

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) said she didn’t see the bug. She told the paper, “You have to talk to the Department of Ed about that,” when the topic of school cleanliness came up.

Ray’s chicken tacos are on the menu this week across the city at more than 1,200 public schools. The tacos are filled with her special ranch sauce and roasted corn. Ray’s dish was served alongside vegetarian “veghead” beans and steamed broccoli.

School officials hope to curb the high obesity rate by getting kids to eat more nutritious meals.

“If we can improve the health of our children, then it changes the future of our country,” she said, according to the paper.

Ray’s meals passed the taste test with some of the toughest food critics out there, sixth-graders at the Tribeca school.

“It doesn’t taste like the normal cafeteria food,” Coby Levinson, 11, told the Daily News. “it tastes better.”

Peyton Avran, who is also 11, savored the flavor, saying, “I like the beans the best because I eat chicken a lot.” 

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