Nutrition Services Division Management Bulletin
|Purpose: Policy, Beneficial Information|
To: School Nutrition Program Sponsors
Attention: Food Service Directors
Date: August 2012
Subject: Mandatory Food Safety Inspections—Reminders
|Reference: U.S. Department of Agriculture Policy Memos SP 45-2011 and SP 39-2008; Federal Register Vol. 74, No. 169, September 2, 2009|
This Management Bulletin (MB) reminds School Nutrition Program (SNP) sponsors about the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety Inspection requirements.
All sponsors participating in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP), with the exception of Residential Child Care Institutions (RCCIs) in California, must annually obtain two food safety inspections from their state or local health department. Depending on the type of food service operation, the scope of the food safety inspection may vary. This is determined by the agency conducting the inspection.
The California Department of Education (CDE) has received many questions from sponsors regarding whether or not they must obtain food safety inspections for school sites where they do not cook foods. These sites are considered service-only sites, and the requirement for two food safety inspections also applies.
Examples of service-only sites include, but are not limited to the following:
- Sites that receive meals from a central kitchen and only serve the meals
- Sites that receive prepackaged meals from a vendor, and therefore do not prepare or cook meals at the site
RCCIs: Please refer to the information provided at the end of this MB.
Responsibility to Request Food Safety Inspections
It is the responsibility of the School Food Authority (SFA) to request the two food safety inspections from their local health department and document their efforts. For those agencies who fail to obtain the two mandatory food safety inspections, the CDE will request documentation from those sponsors to show that they have made every effort to comply with these requirements. Requests should be made in writing for proper documentation of their efforts to obtain food safety inspections.
Mandatory Food Safety Inspection Survey
The USDA requires the CDE to report the results of food safety inspections for every NSLP and SBP site. In order to provide us with this information, SFAs must submit an annual mandatory food safety inspection survey in the Child Nutrition Information and Payment System (CNIPS). For School Year (SY), 2011–12 sponsors will enter their data in the survey beginning in August 2012. An e-mail will go out to all sponsors with detailed instructions on how to complete the survey. Sponsors must indicate the number of food safety inspections conducted at each of their sites for SY 2011–12. If fewer than two food safety inspections were completed, the sponsor must indicate an acceptable reason for not meeting this requirement.
Acceptable reasons include:
- Scheduling conflict. Sponsors must make every attempt to request the two food safety inspections from their local health department. If the local health department is unable to conduct the inspections, sponsors must provide documentation to the CDE of their effort to obtain the inspections.
- RCCIs are not food facilities per the California Retail Food Code (CalCode). Please see below (RCCIs).
Per CalCode, RCCIs are not considered food facilities and are exempt from obtaining two food safety inspections annually. However, they are still required to complete the mandatory food safety inspection survey. When completing this survey, RCCIs will select “none” to report zero inspections. Select from the drop down box “Per CalCode, RCCIs are not considered food facilities.”
Please remember that it is ultimately the responsibility of the SFA to request the two food safety inspections from the health department. In situations where the health department cannot conduct the food safety inspections, it is very important to document that you made an effort to obtain the inspections.
If you have any questions regarding this MB, please contact Stephanie Enright, Child Nutrition Consultant, by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 916-323-0122, or Lori Porter, Child Nutrition Consultant, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 916-322-1454.