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