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3320 Snacks, Treats, and Competitive Foods

3320 Snacks, Treats, and Competitive Foods

Food Services Management Washington County School District - Adopted 6-13-95; revised 11-8-11

1. Purpose:

In order to comply with State and Federal health code requirements, it is necessary to establish guidelines as to what foods will be permitted for student consumption within District facilities.

2. Policy:

In accordance with the Utah Department of Health State Health Code R392-100-2. Food Care, Food Supplies 2.101 General: "Food shall be free from adulteration or other contamination and shall be safe for human consumption. Food shall be obtained from sources that comply with all laws relating to food and food labeling. Food in hermetically sealed containers which are free from major defects must be prepared in approved food processing establishments. Home canned and home prepared foods are prohibited." Approved 8-79 (Revised 6-13-95)

3. Procedure:

3.1. Examples of food suitable for classroom treats: 

3.1.1. Any commercially prepared non-hazardous food such as cookies, cupcakes, candy, or nuts in sealed packages. Commercially prepared kitchens are inspected on a regular basis by trained food inspectors and are much less likely to experience food contamination. 

3.1.2. Popcorn, fruits, and vegetables. Of course, the fruits and vegetables should be washed before they are eaten, peeled, or scraped, where appropriate, such as oranges and carrots.

3.1.3. Food prepared in the school cafeteria or other facilities that meet the guidelines of federal, state, and local regulations.

3.2. Not acceptable are potentially hazardous foods that support the rapid growth of disease causing organisms. Examples are moist, protein items, dairy products, cooked rice, and baked or boiled potatoes. Without proper temperature controls, that is maintaining cold food below 45 degrees F, the food mentioned above can rapidly produce a large number of disease-causing bacteria and viruses. The temperature controls must be in place and monitored during preparation, transportation, and service.

3.3. Not acceptable are any items that have been prepared, cooked or packaged in a private home or residence. A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control revealed that a significant percentage of foodborne disease outbreaks were traced back to food that had been prepared in the home.

3.4. Not acceptable are foods that require handling and cooking. Such items as sloppy joes, salads, soups, stews, and some ethnic foods. Disease transmitted through food frequently originates from an individual handling the food who shows little outward appearance of being ill.

3.5. Information on Food Policy (source: Bill Emminger, State Health Department, 538-6845):

3.5.1. The Utah State Legislature has granted the Utah State Health Department the authority to write and enforce rules to protect the health and safety of Utah citizens. Thus, Code R392-100-2 has the "Full Weight and Body of Law." 

3.5.2. Because most bake sales and fund raising events (although sponsored by PTA or students) are school affiliated, the State strongly recommends that home prepared food be prohibited. (Deep Pocket Theory). Bill Emminger (state) actually reports that home-prepared food sold to public is illegal.

3.5.3. Concessions at games, etc, are permitted as long as they are inspected and approved by the local Health Department (per Bill Emminger-State). However, the local Health Department says they have no time to do this, so they would insist that concessionary foods be prepared in licensed facilities and at least one worker with a food handler's license be on site for every five non-licensed workers. This is the guideline they use for students serving on the lunch room line.

3.5.4. Catering situations are very likely to cause disease outbreaks related to advance preparation (time factor) and transportation. Thus, the Health Department should be closely involved in inspection and education on food safety related to transport/storage/handling (per Bill Emminger--state). However, the local Health Department would like these students as part of the course to obtain their food handler's permit. Bill Dawson (local) would be willing to teach that portion if enough students were involved and time permitted. Transporting food is a real concern. Temperature must be controlled.

3.5.5. Home Economic Courses can cause similar problems to catering and thus must be monitored in some fashion by the local Health Department Environmental Services per the State. However, the local person reported that as long as the food is not served to the general public, that it is eaten by the Home Ec students, it is okay. If the general public is to be served, then food handler's permits would be required.

3.6.  Any food item that is sold in competition to the reimbursable school meal program is considered a Competitive Food.  This is defined by 7 CFR 210.11 and 220.12.  Foods with "minimal nutritional value" are prohibited from being sold in food service areas during meal periods.

3.6.1.  "Food service areas" is defined as anywhere school meals are being served or consumed, including classrooms and multipurpose rooms that double as cafeterias during meal periods.

3.6.2.  The categories of "foods of minimal nutritional value" listed in the regulations include:

1.  Soda Water
2.  Water Ices
3.  Chewing Gum
4.  Certain Candies:

•    Hard Candy
•    Jellies and Gums
•    Marshmallow Candies
•    Fondant
•    Licorice
•    Spun Candy
•    Candy Coated Popcorn

Foods in these categories are foods of minimal nutritional value, unless exempted by the Foods and Nutrition Services (FNS) national office.

3.6.3.  Only foods classified as a FNS exemption can be sold in competition to the school meal program as an a la carte item.  All revenue from exemption food sales must be reimbursed to the school meal program.

Local Health Department contact is Bill Dawson 586-2437 or Anita Comp 673-3528.