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Information Alert: FMNV Exemption List

Nutrition Services Division Information Alert

To: School Nutrition Program Sponsors

Number: USDA-SNP-03-2008

Attention: Food Service Directors

Date: September 2008
Subject: United States Department of Agriculture’s Foods of Minimal Nutritional Value Exemption List
Reference: Title 7, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 210.11, Appendix B; Management Bulletin 05-110

Foods of Minimal Nutritional Value Exemption List

This Information Alert (IA) provides an update regarding the exemptions to the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) list of foods of minimal nutritional value (FMNV).

Foods of Minimal Nutritional Value

Title 7, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 220.11, Appendix B, lists the foods and beverages the USDA classifies as FMNV. The USDA prohibits schools from selling these foods and beverages during meal periods anywhere reimbursable meals are sold or eaten. Management Bulletin 05-110 (June 2005), located on the California Department of Education’s (CDE) Web site at, contains additional information on FMNV sales and a link to the USDA’s list of FMNV.

Exemptions Under Foods of Minimal Nutritional Value

A food or beverage manufacturer that sells foods or beverages that are considered to be FMNV can petition the USDA to exempt their product(s) from the FMNV list. The USDA prepares and disseminates an exemption list to every State Department of Education one time per year. To review the most current inventory of FMNV exempted foods and beverages, please review the FMNV exemption list on the CDE’s Web page at

No future Information Alerts will be released regarding an updated FMNV Exemption list. The CDE will update the CDE Web page listed above with the most current FMNV Exemption list each year as soon as it is received from the USDA. School districts should assume that the list located on the CDE Web site is the most current list available.

Additional Information

The food and beverage products in the FMNV exemption list are not considered to be FMNV and can therefore be sold during the meal period in a school food service area pursuant to federal regulations (7 CFR, Part 220.11). This does not mean that these products are approved or endorsed either by the USDA or the CDE. Nor does an exemption indicate that these products have significant nutritional value. In addition, exemptions for these food products should not be perceived as guidance or encouragement concerning their possible purchase.

Please note: The USDA’s FMNV exemption list does not reflect any such exemption from California state law, e.g., Senate Bills 12, 965, and 490, which are now California Education Code sections 49431, 49431.2, 49431.5, and 49431.7. While the products are exempted under the federal FMNV regulations, many may not be compliant with the nutrition standards enacted through California’s Senate Bills 12, 965, or 490.

Please also be aware that several companies with exempted foods or beverages produce similar products that are not exempted. Also, products previously exempted may have been removed from the list, while new products may have been added. Therefore, the list found on our Web site contains the most up-to-date list of exempted foods and beverages under the federal FMNV regulations.


If you have questions regarding this Information Alert on FMNV, please contact Mike Danzik, Nutrition Education Specialist, Education and Nutrition Policy Unit, at 916-445-7346 or by e-mail at

Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609
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