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Six Cents Certification Tool Questions and Answers


Nutrition Services Division Management Bulletin
Purpose: Beneficial Information
To: School Nutrition Program Sponsors Number: USDA-SNP-41-2012
Attention: Food Service Directors Date: September 2012
Subject: Questions and Answers Related to the Six Cents Certification Tool
Reference: U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Policy Memo 31-2012: Certification of Compliance with Meal Requirements for the National School Lunch Program under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (2nd Revision); USDA Policy Memo SP 34-2012: Child Nutrition Reauthorization 2010: Certification of Compliance with New Meal Patterns—Certification Tools, Specifications, and Prototype Attestation Statement; USDA Policy Memo SP 44-2012 (Revised): Child Nutrition Reauthorization 2010: Questions and Answers Related to the Six Cents Certification Tool; Management Bulletin USDA-SNP-29-2012; Management Bulletin USDA-SNP-35-2012

This Management Bulletin (MB) updates MB USDA-SNP-35-2012 (August 2012), related to providing guidance on applying for certification of compliance with the New Meal Pattern (NMP) as required under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA) of 2010. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has issued School Policy (SP) Memo 44–2012 (Revised), Child Nutrition Reauthorization 2010: Questions and Answers Related to the Six Cents Certification Tool. The memo includes new questions and answers provided by the USDA and additional information on using  the Six Cents Certification Tool. The memo is available on the USDA Certification on Compliance Web page at http://www.fns.usda.gov/school-meals/certification-compliance.

Certification Tool

The topics listed below are updated questions and answers:

Menu Worksheet
  • Assessment of compliance with NMP
  • Identification of a reimbursable meal
  • Requirements when multiple serving lines utilized
  • Calculation of total vegetables in All Meals tab
  • Certification requirements for breakfast in School Year (SY) 2012–13
  • Clarification when salad bar includes meat/meat alternative
  • Documentation of leftovers
  • Alternative use of Optional VegBar tab
  • Use of optional grain items
Simplified Nutrient Assessment
  • Function of simplified nutrient assessment tab
  • Calculation of saturated fat and calories for scratch cooking
  • Use of product specifications in lieu of nutrition facts label
  • Calculation of planned offerings when multiple schools using same menu
  • Use of generic recipes
  • Approval process for Six Cents Certification Tool through USDA
  • Access to USDA FNS sample menus and completed Six Cents Certification Tool

In addition, the USDA has issued an updated lunch menu worksheet for grades nine through twelve entitled Lunch Menu Worksheet, Extended Schedule, Grades nine through twelve. This worksheet is an expansion of the original Six Cents Certification Tool which allows entry of up to 100 meals on the All Meals tab and up to 50 entries on each daily tab. The worksheet is an attachment to USDA Policy Memo SP 34-2012 and is available on the USDA School Meals Policy Memos Web page at http://www.fns.usda.gov/school-meals/policy.

For questions concerning the menu certification process, SFAs may contact the Education and Nutrition Policy Unit (ENPU) by e-mail at HHFKA@cde.ca.gov or by phone at 916-322-2003. An ENPU menu certification team member will respond to your inquiry within one business day.

Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609
Last Reviewed: Friday, June 5, 2015

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  • Menu Certification Performance-Based Reimbursement
    This Management Bulletin provides guidance for applying for certification of compliance with the New Meal Patterns as required under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA) and the USDA Food and Nutrition Service, Policy Memo SP 34-2012.

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