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Competitive Food and Beverage Sales

Nutrition Services Division Management Bulletin
Purpose: Policy, Action Required

To: School Nutrition Program Sponsors

Number: NSD-SNP-01-2010

Attention: County and District Superintendent, Business Official, Food Service Director, School Board President

Date: April 2010

Subject: Requirements for Groups or Individuals Who Sell Foods and Beverages Outside of Federally Reimbursable School Meal Programs

Reference: Title 5, California Code of Regulations, sections 15500, 15501; California Education Code sections 48931, 49431(c), 49431.2(d), 49431.5(d), 49434; and Title 7, Code of Federal Regulations, sections 210.11 and 220.12

This Management Bulletin (MB) provides information from the California Department of Education’s (CDE), Nutrition Services Division (NSD), on school food authority (SFA) responsibilities for controlling and monitoring foods and beverages sold to pupils outside of the federally reimbursable school meal programs (known as competitive food and beverage sales).

The CDE monitors and enforces the sale of competitive foods and beverages in schools pursuant to federal regulations and the California Education Code (EC). The following is a summary of the monitoring and enforcement rules:

Federal Regulation Requirements

The State of California’s response to these federal regulations has been to enact legislation and regulations controlling the sale of competitive food and beverages.

California Education Code Requirements
SFA Requirements

The SFA is required to approve all competitive food and beverage sales:

Not every competitive food and beverage scenario is addressed by current state or federal laws and regulations. Accordingly, in the absence of specific state or federal requirements, the SFA is expected to develop rules as are necessary to control the sale of competitive food and beverages.

Examples of controls for SFAs to consider that are not addressed by state or federal requirements are:

Monitoring and Enforcement through the Coordinated Review Effort (CRE) Process

The CRE is the federally required monitoring process that the NSD follows to review an SFA’s adherence to federal and state laws and regulations, including food and beverage requirements. As part of its monitoring responsibility, the NSD must gather specific SFA and campus-wide information on foods and beverages sold in order to properly and effectively review the SFA’s food service practices, including those food and beverage items sold outside of the reimbursable meal program by entities including, but not limited to:

SFA Information Necessary for Compliance

The type of information necessary for the NSD to evaluate compliant competitive foods and beverages includes, but is not limited to:

The NSD does not require a specific format for collecting this information, but the SFA, upon request by the NSD, should demonstrate the procedure used to collect this information.

SFA Best Practice Process to Ensure Compliance

Given the SFA’s responsibility to ensure compliance and create rules, when necessary, to control the sale of competitive foods and beverages, it is in the SFA’s best interest to identify practices not addressed in state or federal requirements and address them through their Local School Wellness Policy process.

The following are examples of best practices that an SFA can choose to implement:

At the request of the NSD, the SFA should be able to demonstrate the district procedure for evaluating compliance with the district, state, and federal competitive food and beverage rules.

Educating groups or individuals on their responsibilities for complying with the food and beverage sale restrictions can:

Other Resources

Please refer to the CDE Web page that provides additional information about competitive food and beverage requirements at

If you have any questions regarding this MB, please contact Mike Danzik, Nutrition Education Specialist, by phone at 916-445-7346 or by e-mail at

Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609
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