Interim Rule: School Food Safety Inspections
This interim rule reflects amendments made by section 111 of the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004 which require schools participating in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and the School Breakfast Program (SBP) to increase the number of food safety inspections from the one inspection currently required to two inspections per year; to post the most recent inspection report in a visible location; and to release a copy of the report to members of the public upon request. This interim rule also reflects the statutory amendment which requires State agencies to annually monitor schools’ compliance with the inspection requirement (through a consolidated report from the school food authority), and to submit a report on the results of the review to the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS).
As a result of the statutory amendments, schools will be able to identify and correct food safety problems in a more timely and consistent manner, thereby enhancing the quality of school meals. State monitoring of the inspection requirement will allow the State agency to target their technical assistance efforts to those school food authorities (SFAs) experiencing difficulties in meeting the requirement. Collecting the number of inspections completed by schools will help the State become aware of the level of compliance with this requirement and problems associated with it.