District investigates sour chocolate milk at some schools

Portrait of Interim Superintendent John Yagielski

The City School District of Albany investigated a handful of reports from several schools that some half-pints of chocolate milk had a sour smell and taste Wednesday. The district has worked with our food service provider, Aramark, as well as our milk supplier, Dzembo Dairy Inc., and milk producer, Midland Farms Inc., to investigate.

The investigation has determined that there may have been an issue with one of the carton-filling machines at Midland Farms. The company indicated that some chocolate milk marked with an expiration date of May 19 may have been affected by this problem; they are continuing to investigate.

The problem only was identified with some cartons of chocolate milk dated May 19. 

Based on that information and out of an abundance of caution, the district immediately acted Wednesday to remove all milk dated May 19, regular and chocolate, from all school cafeterias district-wide. Dzembo also delivered fresh milk to the district Wednesday, and that product was distributed to all schools. 

The district received reports Wednesday that students at several schools noticed a sour smell and taste in some cartons of chocolate milk. These buildings were Albany High School, Arbor Hill Elementary School, Edmund J. O’Neal School of Excellence, New Scotland Elementary School, Philip J. Schuyler Achievement Academy, Stephen and Harriet Myers Middle School, and William S. Hackett Middle School. 

At Arbor Hill Elementary, three students reported briefly having a “sour stomach” after drinking some of the chocolate milk. The symptoms went away in a short period of time and the students returned to class to complete the school day. There were no reports of students feeling ill after drinking milk at any other schools.

In addition to working with our vendors to investigate, our Food Services Department staff is closely monitoring cooler and product temperatures in all kitchens, and conducting quality control testing on all products served. We also are working with Aramark to review quality control safeguards with all of our food service suppliers.


John Yagielski
Interim Superintendent