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Food Safety Inspections Reminder

This notification reminds Program Operators participating in the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program of the requirement to obtain two food safety inspections at each site from their state or local environmental health department (LEHD) annually. In addition, Program Operators are required to report to the California Department of Education (CDE) on the inspection activities.

During the pandemic the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offered reporting flexibilities, which waived the food safety inspection reporting requirement for Program Operators for school year (SY) 2020–21 and SY 2021–22.

The USDA did not extend the reporting flexibility for SY 2022–23. As a result, Program Operators are required to obtain food safety inspections in SY 2022–23, and report those results in SY 2023–24.

This July, the CDE will open the 2022–23 Food Safety Inspection Survey (FSIS) in the Child Nutrition Information and Payment System (CNIPS) during annual updates for SY 2023–24. Program Operators will be required to report results for each site. A separate listserv with instructions on how to access the FSIS in the CNIPS, and instructions for completing the mandatory FSIS is forthcoming.

Additional guidance is provided below.

Responsibility to Request Food Safety Inspections

The Program Operator is responsible for the following:

  1. Requesting two food safety inspections from their LEHD,

  2. Documenting the request for food safety inspections, and

  3. Having the documentation available for the CDE upon request.

If the Program Operator fails to obtain the two mandatory food safety inspections, the CDE will request the Program Operator provide a copy of the response from the LEHD stating why the health department could not conduct the inspections. If the Program Operator did not receive a response from their LEHD, the CDE will request the Program Operator to provide a copy of the letter sent to their LEHD requesting the inspections.

The CDE recommends that Program Operators contact their LEHD early in the SY to allow time to obtain the two food safety inspections.

Contact Information

If you have any questions regarding this subject, please contact the School Nutrition Programs Unit by email at .

Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609
Last Reviewed: Thursday, April 20, 2023
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