Food Safety in Our Schools
Food safety is our top priority!
The Meriden Public Schools prides itself on safely serving over 10,000 breakfasts and lunches daily.
Each of our cafeteria managers is a Qualified Food Operator.
A qualified food operator has been trained on public health code, food safety and food sanitation and passed a national certification (ServSafe). As qualified food operators, our managers are responsible to instruct and oversee operations that include: proper food temperature control; food protection; personal health and cleanliness; and sanitation of the facility, equipment, supplies and utensils.
The Meriden Health Department inspects our school kitchens a minimum of three times a year.
In addition to inspections by the Meriden Health Department, Meriden Food and Nutrition Services contracts with SFSPac Food Safety and Sanitation Systems. SFSPac visits each of our schools ten times per year, completes a site visit of food safety and sanitation practices and completes individualized education with our cafeteria staff.
USDA Requirements of School Nutrition Programs
The National School Lunch Act requires that each school nutrition program institute a HAACP plan.
HAACP stands for Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points. Basically, School Nutrition Programs are required to develop policies and train their staff to identify "hazards" and put steps in place (critical control points) to reduce the "hazards". HAACP is not required by state or federal health code.
Reducing Food Borne Illness Risks
Meriden Public Schools has reduced the food borne illness risk to our students by only serving precooked foods. Our poultry, beef and pork products are all precooked. In our kitchens as an additional precaution, we reheat products above the temperatures required by both Federal and State Health Code.
USDA Food Safety and Inspection Services have extensive resources on safe food handling and guidance on the color of meat and poultry.