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Shelf-Stable, Dried Snacks in CNP

Nutrition Services Division Management Bulletin

Purpose: Policy, Beneficial Information

To: School Nutrition Program Sponsors, Child and Adult Food Program Agencies, Summer Food Service Sponsors

Number: USDA-CNP-06-2011

Attention: Food Service/Program Directors

Date: September 2011

Subject: Shelf-Stable, Dried Snacks in Child Nutrition Programs

Reference: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, Policy Memo TA 05-2011

This Management Bulletin (MB) reminds School Nutrition Program sponsors, Summer Food Service Program sponsors, and Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) agencies that shelf-stable, dry, or semi-dried snacks made from meat, poultry, or seafood are not creditable under the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Child Nutrition (CN) Programs.

Shelf-stable dried meat, poultry, and seafood snacks do not meet the requirements for the meat/meat alternate component in any meal using the Food-based Menu Planning Option or CACFP meal patterns.

Non-Creditable Snacks

Meat, poultry, and seafood snacks that are not creditable under the USDA’s CN programs include, but are not limited to:

  • Smoked snack sticks made with beef and chicken
  • Summer sausage
  • Pepperoni sticks
  • Meat, poultry, or seafood jerky
  • Meat or poultry nuggets such as turkey nuggets

In addition, the above snacks do not qualify for the CN labeling program, and company certified product formulation statements (PFS) should not be accepted for these products.

Creditable Snacks

The following meat and poultry snack products may be used in the CN programs with USDA authorized CN labels or company certified PFS:

  • Cooked, cured meat and/or poultry sausages that do not contain byproducts, cereals, binders, or extenders are creditable. Examples of these include bologna, frankfurters, knockwurst, and Vienna sausage as listed in the Food Buying Guide for Child Nutrition Programs under the Meat/Meat Alternates Section. The Food Buying Guide can be viewed at the USDA Library Resource Web page at
  • Finger-food types of shelf-stable sticks, which are usually packed in water and made without byproducts, cereals, binders, or extenders are creditable. An example of this is chicken sticks packed in water.
  • Extended meat or poultry products which are usually breaded and either frozen or refrigerated are creditable.
  • Dried pepperoni as a topping on a CN labeled pizza would be creditable. Please note that dried pepperoni alone is not creditable under the CN programs.

If you have questions about this MB, please contact Ashley Osterman, Child Nutrition Consultant (CNC), Northern School Nutrition Programs Unit (SNPU), by phone at 916-445-1261 or by email at, or Lori Porter, CNC, Southern SNPU, by phone at 916-322-1454 or by e-mail at

Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609
Last Reviewed: Thursday, March 9, 2017
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