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Food Safety and Procurement

Food Safety

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Food safety is very important when participating in Farm to School (F2S). It can be one of the largest concerns school nutrition professionals have when serving school-aged children. As with the School Meals Programs, proper planning and training can set schools up to serve local food safely in their cafeterias and classrooms.


Food Safety Considerations

  • Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) must be in place when using school garden produce and other fresh, minimally-processed foods in the child nutrition programs.
  • Schools must follow  local food procurement regulations to ensure the foods are purchased from licensed and inspected facilities with food safety certifications.
  • Consider the food safety certification(s) your school may accept when purchasing from local producers. It is up to each school to decide the certification(s) it accepts.
  • Reference the WI Food Code for specific food safety requirements.




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Procurement is the process for purchasing goods and services. Within F2S, procurement plays a big role in the incorporation of local foods. Similar to food safety, procurement has been a hurdle for some school nutrition professionals. With an understanding of procurement requirements, your farm to school work is sure go egg-cellently!
Please direct any specific procurement questions to a member of the SNT's Procurement team.




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This section contains resources to help locate and work with producers and growers.  If you are a producer or grower, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) has valuable F2S resources for you to reference.


Producers and Suppliers



  • Verifying On-Farm Food Safety - prior to purchasing produce from a local farm, school nutrition operators should consider visiting the farm to observe key food safety practices and ask questions.
  • Talk Farm to Me podcast - a podcast about farmers for non-farmers, featuring a new farmer every two weeks with stories from the farm about what they do