School Food Industry Roundtable Proposes Solutions to Grain Challenges

After explaining to USDA officials the absurd lengths to which companies are asked to document products meet the Whole Grain Rich Requirements and comply with the restriction on "uncreditable grains", the School Food Industry Roundtable discussed potential solutions to retain the nutritional goals of the requirements but make them more easily documented.


Participants at the School Food Industry Roundtable meeting on July 12, 2015 in Salt Lake City discussed and evaluated several ideas generated during a preparatory conference call held in June.  


The results are summarized in two documents:  The first is a discussion grid identifying which challenges each proposed solution would help to resolve.  The second is a feasibility grid to evaluate the practicality of each proposed solution.  Both documents have been shared with USDA officials who also participated in the annual Industry Roundtable brunch. 


For information about the Communications Task Force established at the annual brunch, go to the Industry Roundtable page. 

USDA Memo Persists with Making CN Labels Useless!

As promised USDA has issued clarification about when and how CN labels can be used to document credit toward the school meal requirements.  The Nov. 26, 2014  memo distributed to State Agencies restates previous policies bringing into question the utility of CN Labels for the school customer and the manufacturer.  

The memo makes the statement "when a valid CN label is provided, State reviewers must not request additional crediting information such as a product formulation statement".   The preceding information requires the school food service office to have an actual label peeled, scanned or photographed from a delivered case of product, or a bill of lading showing the CN ID number.  Is that the definition of "valid CN label"? 

If so, schools or states could more easily ask for a product formulation statement, rather than tracking down actually product labels. 

The current policy requires schools prove they have purchased the CN label product, but not a food item that has a product formulation statement. 

Even though USDA as a policy stating state agencies cannot ask for a Product Formulation Statement, the definition of a "valid CN label" is more  arduous for the school than having  Product Formulation Statement.  Many in industry are still providing Product Formulation statement because it helps their school customers comply with regulations.

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