Please note that this study was published before the implementation of Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, which went into effect during the 2012-13 school year, and its provision for Smart Snacks Nutrition Standards for Competitive Food in Schools, implemented during the 2014-15 school year. As such, certain research may not be relevant today.
Food safety is an area of growing concern for both the general public and school foodservice practitioners. A number of factors recently have placed food safety in the public eye: newspaper exposes, such as the series of stories that ran in December 2001 in The Chicago Tribune ; articles about foodborne illness outbreaks and resulting lawsuits; and congressional hearings at which the Government Accounting Office reported that foodborne illness outbreaks in schools are increasing at a rate of about 10 percent per year. Although these articles and reports do not always present a balanced view of school foodservice, they do draw attention to child nutrition programs.
The American School Food Service Association is an advocate for best practices that support school districts in providing safe, flavorful, and nutritious meals to children. In an effort to be leaders in food safety, the ASFSA Executive Board passed the following position statement on food safety in December 2002: “ASFSA will initiate and support collaborative efforts to ensure that schools develop food safety systems so that children have safe food in schools.”
The ASFSA Research Committee was charged with the responsibility of developing a literature review related to food safety to accompany this position statement. The lead article in this issue, developed by Dr. Almanza and me, is a result of this statement. We hope that you will find this to be a useful resource about food safety in general, as well as research specifically related to schools. In addition, Daniel Henroid, Jr. developed a comprehensive list of food safety and HACCP resources that school foodservice practitioners can use for developing or refining their food safety/HACCP programs.
There are two research articles in this issue related to food safety, as well. Sneed and Henroid, Jr. provide some interesting perspectives of school foodservice directors who have implemented or are in the process of implementing a HACCP program. Barclay et al. report on findings related to food safety knowledge, practices, and educational needs of students in grades 3 to 10.
This issue of the Journal also contains two articles related to sponsor monitors for family day care homes participating in the Child and Adult Card Food Program. Carr, Oakley, and Conklin based their findings on research conducted for the National Food Service Management Institute. Nucci and Stuhldreher present a combination for lunch nutrient profiles before and after implementation of the West Virginia School Nutrition Standards. Further research by Seo et al. evaluated the nutrient quality of school lunches in Indiana based on school enrollment and menu planners’ education levels.
I hope that you will find this issue of The Journal of Child Nutrition & Management to be an interesting one and provide you with useful information. The issue of food safety will be important far into the future. It is great to know that we are being proactive in developing and implementing systems to ensure safe food for our nation’s children.
Jeannie Sneed, PhD, RD, SFNS