Marley Drink, Chartwells Manager Removed From Holmdel School District

The school district released a statement Monday saying that an investigation is ongoing.

Marley's Mellow Mood drinks were yanked from the cafeteria in Satz and Holmdel High School following action taken by the Holmdel School District and school food vendor Chartwells on Monday.

In addition, the on-site manager for Chartwells has been removed from the job pending further investigation, said Nancy Quinn, a regional vice-president for the school's Pennsylvania-based company. 

Superintendent Barbara Duncan was not available for interviews on Monday, but through a written statement distributed by her office she said that she first learned of children becoming ill after drinking Marley's Mellow Mood drink on Friday, when contacted by Satz School Principal Arthur Howard. 

"We called for an immediate and thorough investigation by Chartwells," she said. "Chartwells cooperated with our request, reacted quickly and identified the issues at hand. We were informed that Marley’s was a new product that did not go through the approval process required for all new products."

Chartwells is investigating the incident, and said it was not a product authorized for sale in schools managed by the company. 

"The product in question has been removed from schools completely and will not be available," said Quinn.

"We sincerely regret that this product was sold and that students had an adverse reaction to it. Chartwells takes great pride and care in partnering with our school communities to provide the best school dining experience possible and we take this situation very seriously," she said. 

An article on Holmdel-Hazlet Patch posted early Sunday by Local Voices contributor and Holmdel parent Felicia Stoler, a Registered Dietician, has drawn dozen of comments from people in the community, some of them parents of children who drank the anti-energy beverage at lunchtime and suffered ill effects. 

Nick J. December 03, 2012 at 10:21 PM
What the heck is going on with our schools? First the turmoil on the BOE about a possible rogue employee having two jobs, now they are selling these drinks to our kids. Who is responsible for monitoring what is sold to the kids? That person needs to be severely reprimanded.
Michael December 03, 2012 at 11:29 PM
This is not the fault of just one person. Obviously there was a complete lack of focus by the staff on the satz cafeteria as well as the BOE. Why would these drink be there in the first place?
Jess December 04, 2012 at 12:40 AM
I agree with both of you Nick and Michael. So let me get this straight, drinks that are clearly labeled "not for children" are being sold to our kids in the cafeteria without authorization, the kids get sick from it, and the only thing that happens is that the on-site manager from Chartwells has been "removed" from our school? Talk about a slap on the wrist. I've seen people terminated for much much less. And speaking of termination, why not terminate our contract with Chartwells over this? They are horrible to begin with and now this is the icing on the cake. Great job getting pretty much nothing accomplished in your meeting with Chartwells this morning Mrs. Duncan. Same old, same old, looking the other way.
Debbie Brew December 04, 2012 at 12:55 AM
"removed" from our school... Not fired...
Tony Orsini December 04, 2012 at 01:08 AM
How often do you eat at the schools, Jess? Better food than I get at the hospital. Who do YOU work for Jess? Before you slam folks, get a grip. I want to know what the process is for approval of what is offered to students. What I recall from BOH days is when a PhD. dietician professor tried to "meddle" in what was offered in the shools with regard to drink (sugar, sugar, sugar), she was taken to task for it. Now allyou big mouths hiding behind psuedo names are ready to crucify people based on scant info. "Judge not lest ye be judged."
Tony Orsini December 04, 2012 at 01:10 AM
Better yet...Why did the vendor even offer it to the school if it's for "adults only." Don't know about that claim, since son and many friends have had it (without ill effects).
Jess December 04, 2012 at 01:53 AM
There was just a comment made in the Marley in a Can blog from Kevin McClafferty, President and Chief Executive Officer of Marley Beverage Company, LLC stating that Chartwells is not an authorized reseller of Marley Beverages. So not only did Chartwells go ahead and sell these beverages to children, they are not even authorized by the manufacturer to sell them to anyone! Ok Mrs. Duncan, are you going to terminate our contract with Chartwells now???? I don't think we should be partnering with a company that is this inept when it comes to handling the food service for our children.
D. Hamwi December 04, 2012 at 02:19 AM
May I ask....who overseas what the Chartwell Manager orders. Does anyone else give the FINAL approval? I'm sure nothing will happen to that individual. Where are the guidelines?
Andrew December 04, 2012 at 02:42 AM
Dina, you will never find out the name of the person within our school district who oversees what the Chartwell Manger orders if they are friends with the powers that be in our Administration. You may just get threatened with a lawsuit for even bringing it up. By the way, what exactly does Chartwells have to do in order for our Administration to sever ties with them? Our children deserve better. This is ridiculous.
D. Hamwi December 04, 2012 at 02:50 AM
Andrew, I agree. Our children do deserve better! It's time for a BIG change all around.
Debbie Brew December 04, 2012 at 03:29 AM
I wonder...did the "onsite manager" serve anything else in the cafeterias during school or other events where Chartwells food was served that wasn't approved of or unloaded out of a trunk somewhere? I know Marley Beverages is doing a full investigation...I hope whoever oversees Chartwells is too.
Eve December 04, 2012 at 04:00 AM
They are selling BlackWater at Satz and High School too. The site for that drink describes it as follows: "Natural organic blend of over 77 trace minerals, electrolytes and amino acids helping people live healthier, more active lives". Seriously? Is this "blend" for helping live "healthy lives" FDA-approved? I do not think the children should be receiving unchecked "healthy" supplementation at school. We are splitting hairs about what is and is not a healthy snack to serve at a birthday party at school, but, meanwhile, sell all kinds of "supplemental, organic" blends? This does not make any sense. I would like to see all of these drinks gone from schools.
lisa December 04, 2012 at 05:14 AM
I found it interesting that the school board took no responsibility for what happened and that no one from the BOE signed the most recent correspondence. Who is in charge of our cafeterias?
Barbara Germinario December 04, 2012 at 06:20 AM
When I worked for ARAMARK, as Food Service Director in the District, we were not allowed to sell anything but bottled water (not flavored) and milk. The change took place when CHARTWELL took over the contract. Time for a change.
Chris December 04, 2012 at 11:21 AM
On Fox 5 NY: http://www.myfoxny.com/story/20250296/students-sickened-from-drink-sold-at-lunch
deb December 04, 2012 at 11:57 AM
...what about Starbucks double shot energy drinks available at the high school?
tootsie December 04, 2012 at 12:28 PM
Laura Blasucci, Dir. of Dining is the name that comes up on school website. Also, these drinks are not listed on any of the menus in the schools.
Dee Dee December 04, 2012 at 12:43 PM
I love how all the parents are up in arms. Can you all explain why we see your kids walking around with the Monster Energy drinks or Red Bull, both have been known to cause ill effects on kids as well as death. During the investigation, you will find that the computerized lunch system will show how many kids bought the drinks and how many they had. You will find that a lot of people are just jumping on the band wagon. Also it will show the number of cans actually brought into the school. As for changing your lunch system, go for it. The other one out there approved for the state does suck. Also they will not the food selection they get now. Check out the other school menus and see what they are being offered compared to your schools. Stop jumping and ask the right questions, then determine if something big is wrong.
Eve December 04, 2012 at 01:10 PM
"Food Selection"? You must be kidding... Funnel cakes and corn dogs? Or will the kids lose the incredible privilege of paying $4.25 for a Boars Head sandwich? No, thank you. I know what other schools are offering, and a lot of those offerings look way better than ours.
bud December 10, 2012 at 10:30 PM
Where can I buy Marley Mellow? I want to try some on my girlfriend!!!!
Robert H January 30, 2013 at 03:53 PM
Jan 30 BOE meeting will discuss the report on Chartwell and the districts investigation into the incident.


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