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School Nutrition Weekly Update - April 14, 2015 - Issue No. 2015.4-2

In This Issue:                                                                    

  • Be Prepared!  Agreement Renewal for SY 2015-2016 is Around the Corner
  • Food Safety Q&As
  • April NC Farm to School Newsletter
  • CEP Reimbursement Worksheet
  • **REMINDER** Golden Key Achievement Awards Due April 15, 2015
  • Continuing Education Opportunity Schedule
  • Important Dates

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SNWU - April 14, 2015 PRINT VERSION

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Be Prepared!  Agreement Renewal for SY 2015-2016 is Around the Corner

It’s that time of the year to begin the Agreement Renewal Process for the 2015-2016 School Year.  As you know there are three main parts included in the agreement renewal process:

a) Written Agreement;

b) Approval of Free & Reduced Priced School Meals Household Application (F&RP App);

c) Completion of the Online Application and submission of any checklist items.

We are currently updating and finalizing all of the documentation for the 2015-2016 school year to reflect any changes in policy or program requirements as required by USDA or the state agency.   We have planned to release the written agreement, the F&RP App and open the online agreement to you by Monday, April 20, 2015.  Additionally, we are preparing detailed instructional resources to assist you with completing the online application and the entire renewal process. 

In the meantime, what are some things that you can do to prepare for the Agreement Renewal Process?

NCID & SN TECHNOLOGY SYSTEM ACCESS
Make sure anyone responsible for completing the online application has a current and active NCID.  If anyone has difficulty accessing the Child Nutrition Application website, please contact your NCID Administrator or call the NCID Helpdesk at 1-800-722-3946.  If you have any other technical questions, please contact Jeff Merritt, Jeffrey.merritt@dpi.nc.gov or Tad Piner, tad.piner@dpi.nc.gov

What if I don’t have an NCID Account?
If there is anyone that does not have an NCID account, you should contact your NCID Administrator to set up a new account for you.

After I get an NCID Account how do I get access to the SN Technology System or change my access rights?
To obtain access to the SN Technology system or to a change person's access rights (i.e., “claims” access to “application”) the SFA Administrator/Director (or designee) should complete and sign a SN Technology System Security form and fax or email the signed form to Jeff Merritt to 919.807.3516.   

SN Technology System Access Form

**IMPORTANT NOTE** Only persons with “Application” rights will be able to Add/Modify the online application. 

CONTRACTS
SFAs that are renewing a Catering Contract with another SFA or other entity that provides meals for the students or SFAs considering a new catering contract will need to have their contract approved by the State agency prior to it being signed or implemented.  To prepare for this, consider all necessary contract documentation that you may be asked submit to the state agency and have it ready to submit.  We will provide specific instructions on what SFAs will need to do along with the other agreement renewal information.

For SFAs with a Food Service Management Contract, we will provide more information later about any documentation that you may be asked to submit. 

REMINDER:  Web-based Free and Reduced Applications Approval
All School Food Authorities (SFA) planning to use a Web-based Free and Reduced Price Meal Application in the 2015-2016 school year (SY), must complete the Web-based School Nutrition Applications Checklist and submit to your respective Regional Consultant for approval.  Should you have any questions please contact your Regional Consultant.

 Web-based Application Checklist

 

Food Safety Q&As 

QUESTIONANSWER
How should USDA foods be date-marked when stored in schools? Foods should be labeled in permanent black marker with date received (month/year) in a conspicuous location on the case. If food is taken out of the case, label in permanent black marker each individual can/container with the pack date that appears on the case (month/year) or label with the receipt date (month/year) if no pack date is available. Marking with the pack date is preferable because it informs everyone on the true age of the product. The receipt date only informs how long the product has been in storage at that location.
When washing whole fresh produce with an edible peel having Price-Look Up (PLU) stickers affixed, must the stickers be removed prior to washing and serving?

Yes, PLU stickers must be removed prior to washing produce with edible peel. It is the interpretation of the Food Code that the fruit is not adequately washed if the sticker remains since the area under the sticker did not get the treatment of washing.

Produce Safety University is a course developed jointly by USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) and USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).  According to AMS personnel at the PSU, bid specifications may be written to say “no PLU stickers” if this type of produce is desired.
Should raw poultry be washed before cooking?

No, washing is not a recommended food safety practice. Research that shows a potential increase in the risk of foodborne illness due to washing raw poultry before cooking it. Bacteria on chicken can travel up to three feet from where the chicken is washed.  Because the bacteria are not removed by washing, but rather by cooking the chicken to the proper temperature, it is not recommended to wash raw poultry before cooking. Below are some recommended procedures when handling raw poultry:

  • Don’t wash raw poultry.
  • Clean and sanitize utensils and work surfaces after preparing raw poultry.
  • Wash and dry hands after handling and preparing poultry as well as following dishwashing.
  • When drying hands, use one-use towels.

Reference: http://foodsafety.ces.ncsu.edu/2010/08/bathing-birds-is-a-food-safety-mess/


April NC Farm to School Newsletter

Please find the link to the April NC Farm to School Program newsletter below. This month features information about the 2015 art contest winners, procurement workshops, produce available through the NC Farm to School Program for April through July, and new resources available for schools. “From Farm to School - Crops of North Carolina” is a book that tells the story of how strawberries travel from the farm to school nutrition programs. It includes photos and hand-drawn illustrations. An Activity Guide includes activities integrated with the NC Common Core and Essential Standards. In addition, two posters are available: A Year in the Life of a Strawberry and A Year in the Life of a Watermelon.

http://www.ncfarmtoschool.com/htm/newsletter/index.htm  

For questions about the newsletter or the NC Farm to School Program, please contact:

Heather Barnes
Marketing Specialist
NCDA&CS
919-707-3127

 

CEP Reimbursement Worksheet

The CEP Reimbursement Worksheet has been updated to include the current (2014-15 sy) reimbursement rates.  If you have any questions please contact Janet Johnson at janet.williamsjohnson@dpi.nc.gov or Jeff Squires at Jeffrey.squires@dpi.nc.gov.    

Click here for CEP Reimbursement Worksheet

 

**REMINDER** Golden Key Achievement Awards Due April 15

Complete a separate Awards Summary Form, found on pages 18-20 of the Golden Key Achievement awards criteria booklet, for each school being considered for the award.  Once completed, submit the form by Wednesday, April 15, 2015 to Melody Watkins using one of these methods:

1.  By EMAIL with attachments to Melody.Watkins@dpi.nc.gov(preferred method)
2.  By FAX to Melody’s attention at (919) 807-3516
3.  By MAIL to Melody Watkins, 6324 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC  27699-6324. If mailing, be sure to use a traceable method to ensure prompt delivery by the due date.

Planning to present the awards at a local event? Then, you must submit the summary at least (3) three weeks prior to the date you need the certificates or plaques. Please be sure to notify Melody of the date needed; otherwise, the awards will be sent by about the end of May.

State Level Award
Schools qualifying for a plaque may be eligible to compete for award recognition at the State level.  To do that each School Food Authority may also submit their ONE best entry that meets the plaque requirement (of those submitted for the Golden Key Achievement Award entries) to the State Agency to compete for First, Second, and Third-place awards.  State level winners will be announced at the annual School Nutrition Association of North Carolina (SNA-NC) conference and also recognized at the annual School Nutrition Administrator Conference. The State level entries should be hand delivered or mailed by traceable delivery to Melody Watkins and received no later than April 15, 2015.

If you have any questions please contact Susan Thompson at susan.thompson@dpi.nc.gov

 

Continuing Education Opportunity Schedule  

NOTE:  Click the title above to visit the Continuing Education page where you will find a new layout for listing Conferences, Webinars and Workshops.  

Important Dates

April 15 (Wed) Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Claim for Reimbursement Deadline (for March 2015)
April 15 March Nutrient Analysis Reports Due (Submit to Regional Nutrition Specialist)
April 15 Deadline for submission of Golden Key Achievement Awards
April 19-25 Every Kid Healthy Week
April 30 3rd Quarterly Financial Analysis Worksheet Due (for Traditional Public School SFAs only)
May 1 School Lunch Hero Day
May 4-8 National School Nutrition Employee Week
May 10 (Sun) Deadline for Submitting Claim for Reimbursement (for April 2015)
May 15 (Fri) Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Claim for Reimbursement Deadline (for April 2015)
June 10 (Sunday) Deadline for Submitting Claim for Reimbursement (for May 2015)
June 15 (Friday) Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Claim for Reimbursement Deadline (for May 2015)
June 24-25 School Nutrition Association of NC State Conference

Have Questions? Need Assistance?
Please remember to always contact your regional consultants or specialists first for any questions or assistance unless directed otherwise.

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