School Food Safety Program

  • Date: March 01, 2011
  • Source: Admin
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The School Food Safety Program is based on the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point Principles (HACCP) established by the Secretary of Agriculture, U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA). HACCP implemented a legislative provision requiring school food authorities participating in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) or the School Breakfast Program (SBP) to develop a school food safety program for the preparation and service of school meals served to children. It enables schools to take systematic action to minimize or prevent the risk of food-borne illness among children participating in the either program.

HACCP-based food safety program requirements:


  • identify food/procedures most likely to cause food-borne illness
  • enable SFAs to identify potential food hazards
  • identify critical points where hazards can be controlled or minimized through control measures; develops procedures to reduce the risk of an outbreak
  • establish monitoring procedures and corrective action to keep food safe
  • verify consistent safety of food

The Process Approach by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

  • simplifies traditional HACCP by grouping foods according to preparation process
  • applies the same control measures to all menu items within a group, instead of developing a HACCP plan for each item.
  • gives SFAs the option to implement traditional HACCP

Food Safety Requirements for School Agencies


  • Request two food safety inspections for each school year, each school year from the state or local governmental agency responsible for food safety inspections
  • Create public posts of the most recent food safety inspection; keep copy of the report for requests
  • Implement a food safety program based on Hazardous Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles, per USDA guidance.
  • Create annual reports for the Department of Public Instruction of the number of food safety inspections conducted at each site.



Monitoring and Recording Food Temperature Daily

·         Keep cold food cold and hot food hot

·         Cook and hold at proper temperatures

·         Record temperatures

Recordkeeping Period

·         Six months following each month's temperature records


·         Keep food preparation areas clean (hands, utensils, food contact surfaces)

·         Avoid cross contamination

Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

·         Use SOPs for sanitation and temperature verification



Section 111 of the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004

·         Requires school food authorities (SFAs) to implement a food safety program at every food preparation and service facility participating in the NSLP or the SBP

Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612)

·         No significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities

·         SFAs to follow proper sanitation and health standards established under State and local law

Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA), Public Law 104-4

·         Requires federal agencies to assess the effects of their regulatory actions on State, local, and tribal governments and the private sector


·         The Department generally must prepare a written statement, including a cost/ benefit analysis, for proposed and final rules with Federal mandates that may result in expenditures to State, local, or tribal governments in the aggregate, or to the private sector, of $100 million or more in any 1 year.


·         Requires the Department to identify and consider a reasonable number of regulatory alternatives and adopt the least costly, more cost-effective or least burdensome alternative that achieves the objectives of the rule

Section 202 of the UMRA







Section 205 of the UMRA

Executive Order 12372

·         Requires intergovernmental consultation with State and local officials

7 CFR Part 210

·         Grant programs—education

·         Grant programs—health, Infants and children

·         Nutrition, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements

·         School breakfast and lunch programs

·         Surplus agricultural commodities

7 CFR Part 220

·         Grant programs—education

·         Grant programs—health, infants and children

·         Nutrition, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements

·         School breakfast and lunch programs



The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), UDSA published a ‘‘Guidance for School Food Authorities: Developing a School Food Safety Program Based on the Process Approach to HACCP Principles’’ to guide SFAs in the implementation of the food safety program.


The following compliance actions could result as a consequence of noncompliance:

  • Notice of Non Compliance
  • Risk Control Plan recommendation
  • Follow up inspection
  • HACCP survey
  • Warning letter
  • Voluntary closure of facility
  • Embargo: prevents sale or movement of food
  • Voluntary destruction
  • Summary order
  • Civil penalty
  • Cease and Desist Order
  • Notice of hearing to suspend or revoke license or to deny license
  • Settlement conference
  • Temporary Emergency License Suspension



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