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Shipment and Receipt of USDA Foods: Revision 3

Nutrition Services Division Management Bulletin

Purpose: Policy, Beneficial Information

To: Food Distribution Program Recipient Agencies and U.S. Department of Agriculture Foods Processors

Attention: Program Operators

Number: FDP-02-2019

Date: May 2019

Supersedes: Management Bulletin FDP-04-2015, Food and Nutrition Service Instruction 709-5, Revision 2: Shipment and Receipt of U.S. Department of Agriculture Foods

Subject: Food and Nutrition Service Instruction 709-5, Revision 3: Shipment and Receipt of U.S. Department of Agriculture Foods

This management bulletin notifies agencies participating in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National School Lunch Program that the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has issued a revision of FNS Instruction 709-5 regarding shipment and receipt of USDA Foods. This instruction can be viewed on the USDA Food Distribution Program Instructions and Handbooks web page at

This instruction provides standards and procedures for determining if shipments of USDA Foods are received in optimal condition and in the quantities ordered, and for ensuring the proper disposition and replacement of USDA Foods when necessary.

FNS Instruction 709-5, Revision 3 is applicable to shipments of USDA Foods received directly from a USDA-approved vendor or from a federally contracted storage facility, including a national multifood warehouse. This includes USDA Foods received at each delivery location in a split shipment. The Instruction is not applicable to USDA Foods received by recipient agencies (RA) from the state distribution centers or RA storage facilities, end products received from commercial processors or distributors, or produce ordered through the Department of Defense Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program.

Key Changes for Recipient Agencies and Processors

The following sections are considered key changes that pertain to USDA Foods processors and RAs that receive direct deliveries from USDA-approved vendors. In addition to reviewing these selected citations, the California Department of Education Food Distribution Program (FDP) strongly encourages all participants to read the published instruction in its entirety.

Added Definitions

FNS Instruction 709-5, Revision 3 adds definitions for the following terms:

  • Goods Receipt: The process of receipting for a delivery in the Web-based Supply Chain Management System (WBSCM).
  • Intermodal Container: A standardized shipping container used across different modes of transport from ship or rail to truck without unloading and reloading cargo.
  • Purchase Order: The contract awarded to the vendor.
Section Title and Content Revisions

The content of FNS Instruction 709-5, Revision 3 has been updated to reflect the following information:

  • Section VII Objectives: The previously titled Scope section was renamed to the Objectives section. Specific transportation methods have been redefined within the Objective section, broadening the shipping methods to include railcar, ship, or barge.
  • Section VIII Arranging for Shipment and Delivery: The information regarding the Advanced Shipment Notification (ASN) was updated and the establishment number is no longer required on the ASN. The information regarding destination changes has been updated from 35 days to 45 days.
  • Section XI Unloading the Shipment: Information regarding consignee responsibilities has been updated to state that a complaint should be entered in WBSCM and reported to FNS within a reasonable timeframe. As a reminder, shipments must be receipted in WBSCM within two business days; any complaints should be documented shortly after.
Contact Information

If you have any questions regarding this subject, please contact Amy Bell, Child Nutrition Consultant, FDP, by phone at 916-322-5051 or by email at

Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | | 800-952-5609
Last Reviewed: Monday, August 29, 2022
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