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Demanding Answers: Doctor Says Tainted NYC School Food Could Have Made Children Sick

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Medical experts were raising concerns Friday about the safety of food served in New York City public schools – saying the contaminated pizza, chicken, and egg sandwiches that CBS2 has been reporting on this week could make your child sick.

CBS2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer was still demanding answers Friday.

CBS2 reported earlier this week on the pizza and the egg and cheese sandwiches with unappetizing green spots that appeared to be mold, and the chicken contaminated with metal pieces and bones.

"This is horrific," said Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency room doctor at Northwell Health Lenox Hill Hospital. "This is a significantly dangerous situation."

The Department of Education has now removed all the items from its menus. But the question for many parents is what could happen to their children if they had eaten any of the tainted foods.

Kramer showed Dr. Glatter the photos of the items – first the chicken.

"When you ingest meat that is embedded with nails, the objects can perforate your esophagus; your intestine," he warned.

As for the moldy food, Glatter said parents may not have realized the vomiting and diarrhea their children may have suffered could have been caused by food eaten in the school cafeteria.

"Oftentimes, we don't think about the food we're eating, but often, it's a very important source of illness – especially in school-age and young children," Glatter said.

Meanwhile, some are wondering if the city is actually getting the best prices for the food it buys. Sources told CBS2 that each time the city served the brand of chicken that was tainted, it paid $154,000 more than what it ended up paying Perdue – the company school officials turned to for replacement meals.

Chicken is served once a week in city school cafeterias, and the difference in price is millions.

"Perdue has a reputation, and obviously if we could save money, that would go a long way in addressing some of the concerns that have been expressed by taxpayers," said Public Advocate Letitia James.

Finally, the man in charge of school food has agreed to speak to CBS2's Kramer about the danger to schoolchildren at 11 a.m. Monday. However, CBS2 still wants an interview with schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña, because the buck stops there.

The Department of Education claimed that no one got sick from the contaminated food. As for the cost, they said the Perdue product is different from the chicken tenders that were taken off the menu.

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