A new procedure has been approved by the Arkansas Department of Health, Center for Local Public Health, J. Terry Paul, Environmental Health Services, Branch Chief. This procedure allows school food service personnel to supervise the return of milk in unopened cartons and allows the reservice of milk to students in the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program. Reservice of milk may only be allowed under the limited protocol as detailed in this memo.
Milk is considered a “potentially hazardous food,” based on the Rules and Regulations pertaining to Retail Food Establishments as set forth by the Arkansas Department of Health, Environmental Health Protection in 2004 (the Food Code) which states in the definitions of Section 1-201.10 (68) (a)
“Potentially hazardous food” means a food that is natural or synthetic and that requires temperature control because it is in a form capable of supporting: (i) The rapid and progressive growth of infectious or toxigenic microorganisms; (ii) The growth and toxin production of Clostridium botulinum;…”
Section 3-306.14 (Returned Food and Reservice of Food) of the Food Code states:
“(A)…Food (i.e., potentially hazardous food) that is unused or returned by the consumer may not be offered as food for human consumption.”
NEW APPROVED PROCEDURE/PROTOCOL:
The following procedure about milk cartons will be under the strict supervision of food service personnel at all times.
If a student receives milk in the school cafeteria and that student does not want the milk, the student may place the unopened carton of milk in an ice-filled container (i.e., ice chest) located at the end of the meal service line or cashier’s stand. The milk carton must be placed down in the ice and fully covered. Water cannot be standing in the ice. Another student may then pick up the milk carton at no charge to consume with a meal, in addition to the milk already received with a reimbursable meal.
Only milk in a carton that has not been opened and that has been fully covered by clean ice may be consumed by another student. Milk in a carton that has been opened, or not kept under ice, must be discarded and not given to another student.
Any milk carton that is still in the ice at the end of the meal service must be discarded and not served to another student. To discard milk in cartons, the cartons must be opened and milk poured out of the carton. No milk handled in this manner can be used for food preparation or held for another meal period, for example, milk from breakfast cannot be held for lunch.
This procedure is effective beginning on the date that this Commissioner’s Memo is created/released.
For any questions regarding this new procedure, please call the district’s Area Specialist at 501-324-9502.