06/11/2012 02:47 pm ET

School Cafeteria Workers In Western Pennsylvania Win Right To Eat Expired Food For Free

You know that public school employee salaries are low when cafeteria workers fight for the right to eat expired food -- at their own risk.

Unionized cafeteria workers in Sharon, Pa. just won that right after members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees a grievance against the Sharpsville Area School District last year.

Workers argued that the school district "violated established best practice" when school officials no longer allowed them to eat the expired food for free, and instead charging them for food items that could no longer be sold to students in compliance with food safety regulations because they were past expiration or had been reheated.

According to the settlement, "cafeteria employees indeed can eat and drink those expired or reheated items –- at their own risk. And they don’t have to pay for them," The Herald of Sharon, Pa. reports.

But the workers still have to pay for unexpired items and can't sell or give the expired food to another person.

According to a job listing from March, substitute cafeteria workers in the district earn minimum wage.