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School Nutrition Bulletin #10: GOALS Updates, Wellness Policy, USDA Food Safety Resources, USDA Memos, USDA Foods "Show Us Your Tray" Photo Contest

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Announcements from WI DPI School Nutrition Team:

  • GOALS: Website Updates - memo included
  • Wellness Policy Reminder
  • USDA Food Safety Resources
  • USDA Policy Memorandum SP 59-2016 - see included Q&A
  • USDA Policy Memorandum: SP 15-2017
  • USDA Foods “Show Us Your Tray” Photo Contest

GOALS (Goal Oriented Achievement Learning Skills)

We are pleased to announce updates to the GOALS online learning tools. While training hour requirements for obtaining a GOALS Certificate of Excellence have not changed, SFAs will notice several enhancements to the GOALS webpages that will assist school nutrition professionals to track training hours and access appropriate training resources that count as GOALS training hours.

Wellness Policy Reminder

A local wellness policy is a tool that guides your district's efforts to create a school wellness environment that promotes students' health, well-being, and ability to learn. Many companies and organizations have sample policies available for use or purchase. SFAs may choose to adopt or purchase an available policy in lieu of writing their own. However, please note that these policies may contain out of date practices and recommendations and may not meet the minimum federal standards. The SFA should ensure any adopted policy is in compliance with the USDA standards. Wisconsin Team Nutrition has developed the Local Wellness Policy Checklist to assist schools in determining if all content areas are included in their wellness policy.

USDA has recognized a sample policy developed by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation as a “model” policy. Schools/districts may use this policy or the Wisconsin Team Nutrition online Local Wellness Policy Builder to help create a policy that meets the minimum federal standards.

USDA Food Safety Resources

The USDA FNS Office of Food Safety is excited to share a new educational resource for school nutrition professionals. A Flash of Food Safety is an educational video series designed to help busy school nutrition professionals understand and practically apply safe food practices. The videos, available in English and Spanish, address five food safety topics: Handwashing: Why to Wash Your Hands, Handwashing: How to Wash Your Hands, Calibrating a Thermometer: Ice Water Method, Calibrating a Thermometer: Boiling Water Method, and Active Cooling with a Chill Stick.

Each “flash” video is 2-4 minutes and can be accessed online via YouTube. They are easy to view from a desktop, laptop, tablet or smart phone – perfect for onsite training! Individuals can earn 15 minutes (1/4 hour) of continuing education for Professional Standards when they watch all five videos in the series. A certificate of completion is available through the USDA FNS Office of Food Safety website.

Click here to access A Flash of Food Safety or visit www.fns.usda.gov/ofs/food-safety-flashes. While you’re at it, visit the Office of Food Safety website (www.fns.usda.gov/ofs/food-safety) and explore all the great food safety resources available to USDA’s nutrition assistance program operators. Let’s grow food safety!

Questions and Answers Regarding USDA Policy Memorandum SP 59-2016: Modifications to Accommodate Disabilities in the School Meal Programs

The USDA memo SP 59-2016, Modifications to Accommodate Disabilities in the School Meal Programs, issued September 27, 2016, outlines the requirements for SFAs participating in the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, Special Milk Program for Children, or the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (School Meals Programs) to provide reasonable modifications to program meals or the meal service to accommodate children with disabilities. The memorandum supersedes FNS Instruction 783-2, Meal Substitutions for Medical or other Special Dietary Reasons for the School Meal Programs. USDA has indicated that a Q&A will be released in the near future; SFAs will be notified when the USDA Q&A becomes available.

In the meantime, the DPI School Nutrition Team has put together a selection of questions and answers to address questions that have been asked since the memo’s release. Questions & Answers Regarding USDA Memo SP 59-2016 can be found on our Special Dietary Needs webpage. We have also updated our Medical Statement for Special Dietary Needs template to reflect the new guidance.

Questions concerning accommodating special dietary requests or SP 59-2016 should be sent to the DPI school nutrition special dietary needs specialists: Loriann Knapton, loriann.knapton@dpi.wi.gov or Claire Koenig, claire.koenig@dpi.wi.gov.

USDA Policy Memorandum SP 15-2017: Flexibility for the Target 2 Sodium Requirements for School Year 2017-2018

This memo informs us that the USDA has determined that the research done to complete the 2015 Dietary Guidelines is sufficient to support the lower sodium target to begin July 1, 2017.

Target 2 requirements for school meals will be effective July 1, 2017, as required by current regulations. School Food Authorities (SFAs) are expected to comply with these requirements. SFAs that are prepared to meet, or have already begun to meet, Target 2 requirements are encouraged to begin or continue implementation during school year (SY) 2017-2018. However, for SY 2017-2018, SFAs that are working toward compliance with Target 2 but not yet fully in compliance will not incur fiscal action during administrative reviews.

Flexibility is being extended to SFAs during SY 2017-2018. State agencies have been instructed to consider a SFA compliant with the sodium requirements if the SFA meets Target 1 requirements, regardless of whether or not the Target 2 requirements are met. As a reminder, the sodium limit applies to the average meal offered during the school week, not to individual food items or meals. Additionally, State agencies should not reconsider or recertify any SFAs already certified as eligible to receive the 6 cent reimbursement to determine compliance with Target 2. In lieu of assessing fiscal action for not meeting Target 2 requirements, State agencies are encouraged to maintain an open dialogue during the review process and to provide collaborative technical assistance that includes an action plan with reasonable timeframes to achieve and maintain compliance with the dietary specifications for sodium.

The 2nd Annual USDA Foods “Show Us Your Tray” Photo Contest

The 2nd annual USDA Foods “Show Us Your Tray” photo contest is underway! Last year, schools submitted over 200 photos of their school meals highlighting USDA Foods. Information about the contest can be found by clicking this link .

Submitting a photo to enter the contest is as easy as 1-2-3!

  1. Take a picture of your school meal (Please ensure that photos are taken in good lighting in the highest resolution possible).
  2. Include your name, school district, state, and which items are USDA Foods in your email (Meals must contain direct delivered (brown box) USDA Foods. Photos may contain processed items or DoD Fresh items, but photos containing only processed items or DoD Fresh products will not be judged).
  3. Send your photo to the USDAFoods@fns.usda.gov mailbox.

Contest ends at midnight on February 15, 2017. The winner will be announced in the USDA Foods March “Spotlight on Schools” e-letter.

School Nutrition Bulletin #10, 01/24/17

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This is a communication from the WI Department of Public Instruction, School Nutrition Team.
You can contact the School Nutrition Team at dpifns@dpi.wi.gov.
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