Food Safety/ANC Highlights
School meals are possibly the safest meals that kids can eat outside of the home. From innovative measures at manufacturing plants to strict procedures in your local school kitchen, everyone has a watchful eye on food safety for America’s children. The General Accounting Office recently reported that there are very few incidents of foodborne illness in schools in particular. It’s a record to be proud of, but school nutrition professionals continue to push the envelope to keep their students safe. Legislation will help improve food safety, and in this month’s edition, SF&N sheds some light on new laws.
For example, adopting the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles and creating a food safety plan is big. It’s ground-breaking. And while it may be paperwork aplenty, your HACCP-based food safety plan may reflect standards and procedures already in practice. An initial assessment of your operation will highlight any weak areas that must be addressed. Get started by reading “Making HACCP Happen.”
One of the major components of the HACCP approach is developing SOPs—standard operating procedures—that cover all food preparation, service, storage and cleaning actions that influence food safety. At first glance, SOP development is fairly daunting, when you consider the fact that school nutrition operations are extraordinarily complex. If you are just getting started on your food safety plan, it’s likely that you have many questions. “SOP SOS?” seeks to provide answers.
September, National Food Safety Education Month(SM), also is the perfect time to get a refresher of your basic knowledge in food safety. This year’s theme for foodservice operations is “Don’t Compromise: Clean and Sanitize.” Turn to “Coming Clean” to test your knowledge—whether you’re brand-new to school nutrition or a seasoned pro.
Next, prepare for your health inspection. In many districts, it is an event with a reputation for producing anxiety within even those foodservice operations working hard to dot the “I”s and cross the “T”s. The requirement in the most recent Child Nutrition Reauthorization law for two annual inspections might double your dread, but “Friends or Enemies?” will help you feel more at ease.
And of course, no September issue would be complete without a review of SNA’s Annual National Conference, the premier school nutrition event of the year. This year’s ANC ignited new partnerships, spectacular solutions, professional growth and good times. The theme of “Lights! Camera! School Nutrition!” reflected the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, as conference participants enjoyed not only professional advancement, but also the premier attractions of the famous “City of Angels.” Find facts and fabulous photos in “A Hot Time in Hollywood.”
From the nitty gritty to the glamorous, SF&N covers everything you need to know to make your school nutrition operation a success. Enjoy this issue of the magazine, and check in again next month when School Foodservice & Nutrition focuses on staff and student customers with special needs.
Making HACCP Happen
Sure, it’s paperwork aplenty, but your HACCP-based food-safety plan may reflect standards and procedures already in practice. An initial assessment of your operation will highlight any weak areas that must be addressed.
Newly required standard operating procedures will bring new definition to school nutrition excellence. Let SF&N help you sort out the processes and procedures in applying this common-sense approach to ensuring food safety.
A Hot Time in Hollywood
No other event could hold a candle to SNA’s 2006 Annual National Conference.
It is true confessions time: Even the most-veteran school nutrition professional can use a quick review of proper cleaning and sanitizing procedures.
Friends or Enemies?
Consider a few strategies for eliminating adversarial animosity and building HEALTH-y relationships with your local inspectors.