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WFHS kitchen takes step into 21st century

Stirring 500-pound batches of ground beef by hand may soon be a thing of the past for West Fargo High School cooks.

On Monday, the West Fargo School Board unanimously voted to authorize administration to advertise for bids for a new 60-gallon steam kettle to replace one "that has been causing difficulty," Business Manager Mark Lemer said.

The current problem kettle takes too long to come up to temperature, Lemer said, and doesn't hold that temperature well once reached. The seemingly Stone-Age contraption also has no tilt feature, meaning contents must be emptied by hand.

New units to be bid would have auger attachments, so cooks would no longer have to stir large batches of beef by hand. The kettle primarily is used for preparing ground beef for dishes such as tacos and Sloppy Joes.

"It would fill a need right now that we're (currently) filling with manpower," Lemer said.

A memo sent to the school board stated the new kettle could cost as much as $40,000, and its purchase would require a budget revision.