According to a recent investigation by USAToday, 18,000 school cafeterias do not meet the twice-a-year inspection requirement under the Child Nutrition Act, while an additional 8,500 did not receive any inspections at all.
The report questions whether this failure to meet code is linked to more than 23,000 cases of food-borne illness that sickened school children from 1998 to 2007.
Maine has the lowest compliance in the nation, with only 1.8 percent of school cafeterias meeting the requirement. Massachusetts came in ninth, with 48.7 percent of school cafeterias meeting Child Nutrition Act standards.
Tennessee was at the top of the states for compliance, with a 98.2 percent rate. The average compliance in the United States was 71.5 percent among the 97,000 school cafeterias in the country.