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Tuesday Morning - March 20, 2012

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March 20, 2012

Table of Contents

National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods to Hold Meeting on School Lunch Program Purchases

USDA Announces New Ground Beef Choices for Schools in SY 2012-2013

Healthy Eating Research Releases 2012 Call for Proposals

FRAC ‘Breakfast Matters’ Conference Call

SNA President Helen Phillips Submits Testimony

SNA Executive Team and Regional Director State Visits for March

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National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods to Hold Meeting on School Lunch Program Purchases

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced that the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods (NACMCF) will hold a conference call open to the public on March 28, 2012, from 2:00-5:00 pm EDT.

In February, a NACMCF subcommittee met with USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service to discuss the purchase of ground beef for the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). The subcommittee's questions and findings will now be considered by the full committee.

Items on the agenda will include:

  • Assistance to the Agricultural Marketing Service with the Federal Purchase Ground Beef Program
  • Staphylococcus aureus and other criteria used in the ground beef purchase for the NSLP
  • Alternative screening methods for ground beef beyond those in the FSIS Microbiology Laboratory Guidebook and determining acceptable screening procedures

Anyone interested in registering to attend the meeting, make a presentation, submit technical papers, or provide comments should contact Karen Thomas-Sharp at karen.thomas-sharp@fsis.usda.gov.

The final agenda will be posted at: www.fsis.usda.gov/News/Meetings_&_Events/.
More information can be found at:
www.fsis.usda.gov/Regulations_&_Policies/Federal_Register_Notices/index.asp.

USDA Announces New Ground Beef Choices for Schools in SY 2012-2013

On March 15, 2012, USDA released a statement regarding the safety of ground beef products including Lean Finely Textured Beef. The release announced that in the upcoming school year the USDA Foods program will offer new ground beef options for schools, including products either with or without Lean Finely Textured Beef.

The School Nutrition Association stated that they will work with USDA in the coming months to resolve issues SNA members face as they work to identify ground beef products that meet both their customer’s requests and their operational requirements.

Click here for USDA’s statement
Click here for SNA’s statement
Click here for SNA member talking points on Lean Finely Textured Beef

Healthy Eating Research Releases 2012 Call for Proposals

Healthy Eating Research is a program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). It supports research on environmental and policy strategies with strong potential to promote healthy eating among children to prevent childhood obesity, especially among lower-income populations at highest risk for obesity. Findings are expected to advance RWJF's efforts to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic by 2015.

This call for proposals is for two types of awards aimed at providing key decision- and policy-makers with evidence to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic by 2015. The award types are: Round 7 grants and RWJF New Connections grants which are awarded through the Healthy Eating Research program.

Approximately $1.9 million will be awarded under this call for proposals the two award types.

For more information, visit: http://www.rwjf.org/applications/solicited/cfp.jsp?ID=21393&cid=XEM_A5779

FRAC ‘Breakfast Matters’ Conference Call

On Thursday, March 22, 2012, at 3:00 pm EDT, the Food Research and Action Center is hosting the ‘Breakfast Matters’ Conference Call. During this call, participants will learn how to use data to publish effective school breakfast reports and strategies to use the reports to promote increased participation in their state and community.

To register for this call, go to: http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/5118/p/salsa/event/common/public/?event_KEY=47609

SNA President Helen Phillips Submits Testimony

Today, SNA President Helen Phillips SNS, submitted testimony for the hearing record to the Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees. The testimony focused on the Association’s support for the $35 million requested by USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service for School Meal Equipment Grants within the 2013 FY Agriculture Appropriations bill.

In her testimony, Helen noted that, “Many School Food Authorities (SFAs) throughout the nation have a significant need to replace and upgrade their equipment, particularly as we all work to implement the final rule revising school lunch and school breakfast meal standards. Most importantly, new equipment will directly benefit the millions of children that school food service professionals serve each and every school day by enabling SFAs to provide more fruits and vegetables, and enabling SFAs to maintain, expand, and establish school breakfast programs throughout the nation.”

To read the full testimony, click here.

SNA Executive Team and Regional Director State Visits for March

March 22-24 NAESP Annual Convention & Exposition, Seattle, WA
March 23-25 West Virginia State Conference, Roanoke, WV
March 27-29 NFSMI Major City Training Symposium, Oxford, MS
March 30-31 Alabama State Conference, Birmingham, AL


 
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