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New Policy Change for Food Safety Inspections

Nutrition Services Division Management Bulletin
Purpose: Policy, Beneficial Information
To: School Nutrition Program Sponsors Number: USDA-SNP-12-2013
Attention: Food Service Directors Date: May 2013
Subject: New Policy Change for Food Safety Inspections
Reference: U.S. Department of Agriculture Policy Memos SP 39-2008 and SP 45-2011; Federal Register Vol. 74, No. 169, September 2, 2009; and Title 7, Code of Federal Regulations, sections 210.13 and 220.7

This Management Bulletin (MB) notifies School Nutrition Program sponsors of a policy change pertaining to the mandatory school food safety inspection requirements; specifically, documentation requirements demonstrating attempt to schedule food safety inspections by school food authorities (SFA) that fail to obtain the required two inspections per year.


Title 7, Code of Federal Regulations, sections 210.13 and 220.7 that govern the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program, respectively; require that all participating school sites obtain two annual food safety inspections from the state or local governmental agency responsible for food safety inspections.

Policy Change

For those SFAs that fail to obtain the two mandatory food safety inspections, the California Department of Education (CDE) requests that they submit a copy of the response from their local environmental health department, stating why the health department could not conduct the inspections. If the SFA did not receive a response, the CDE will request a copy of the letter sent to the local environmental health department requesting the inspections.

Please note, all SFAs that receive the two mandatory food safety inspections every school year will not need to submit documentation to the CDE.

It is important that all SFAs submit a letter in writing to their local environmental health department requesting the inspections for every school site, and keep a copy of this letter on file. If the local environmental health department is unable to conduct the inspections, the SFA should request a response in writing from the local environmental health department, and keep the response on file.

The CDE recommends that SFAs contact their local environmental health department early in the school year to allow inspectors time to annually conduct the mandated two food safety inspections. Please note that it is the responsibility of the SFA to request the two food safety inspections from their local environmental health department and to document their request.

If you have any questions related to this MB, please contact Mia Bertacchi, Child Nutrition Assistant, Northern School Nutrition Programs Unit (SNPU), by phone at 916-445-1261 or by email at or Lori Porter, Child Nutrition Consultant, Southern SNPU, by phone at 916-322-1454 or by email at

Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609
Last Reviewed: Monday, March 29, 2021
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