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Ensure Food Safety

Ensure Food Safety

Sponsors must comply with food safety requirements in accordance with Federal, State, and local health and food safety codes. You can find more specific information regarding food safety below.

For specific food safety questions, please reach out to your local public health agency.

    Training Requirements

    New directors (hired on or after July 1, 2015) are required to have at least 8 hours of food safety training within 5 years prior to their starting date or completed within 30 calendar days of the employee's start date.

    Required Training

    Food Safety in Schools

    This 8-hour online training provides school nutrition employees with up-to-date information on food safety. This training will meet the food safety training requirement for new directors.

    Certified Food Protection Manager Certification

    Colorado Retail Food Establishment Rules and Regulations citation 2-102.12 & 2-102.20: At least one employee with authority to direct and control food preparation and service shall be a food protection manager who has been certified by an ACCR program. For more information, contact your local public health agency.

    Additional Food Safety Training

    Food Safety Training

    30-Minute training covering the required food safety elements for a School Food Authority operating a child nutrition program. Ensure you have a Moodle account to access.

    Share Table Training

    Safety training regarding stations where children may return whole food or beverage items they choose not to eat and these items are available to other children who may want additional servings. Ensure you have a Moodle account to access.

    Food Safety Plan

    SFA must develop a written food safety program that covers any facility or part of a facility where food is stored, prepared, or served. The food safety plan is based on Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) principles.s

    Learn how to develop a school food safety program based on the process approach to HACCP principles below.

    Food Recalls

    Find resources for food recalls below.

    Food Safety Inspections

    The USDA requires that schools participating in NSLP and SBP:

    • Obtain two food safety inspections per year
    • Post the most recent inspection report in a visible location
    • Provide a copy of the report to members of the public upon request

    Sponsors participating in SFSP must receive a minimum of one food safety inspection at each site during operation. Sites that participate in NSLP, SBP and/or CACFP and regularly receive health inspections do not require an additional health inspection for SFSP.

    Guidance for School Food Authorities: Developing a School Food Safety Program on the Process Approach to HACCP Principles

    View the USDA Summary of Inspection Requirement

    Reducing Food Waste

    Sponsors have an important role in reducing food waste and educating the next generation about the importance of food conservation.

    Strategies to combat food waste include: 

    • Implement offer vs. serve at all grade levels.
      • Offer vs serve encourages students to take only what they will eat while still allowing them to receive their meal for free.
    • Use proper portioning techniques.
    • Consider pre-portioning while being mindful of increased packaging costs and trash.
    • Implement share tables at each meal time. 
    • Use smart prepping techniques such as reviewing production records regularly for better forecasting and batch cooking.
    • Conduct taste tests to ensure food is appealing to students.
    • Schedule recess before lunch to increase appetite. 
    • Allow students adequate time to sit and eat.

    Share Tables

    Share tables are stations where children may return whole food or beverage items they choose not to eat and these items are available to other children who may want additional servings.

    Get guidance on food items approved for redistribution in the cafeteria setting while maintaining food safety protocols to prevent the risk of a foodborne illness below.

    Offer vs Serve

    Offer versus serve allows students to decline some of the food offered in a reimbursable lunch or breakfast. OVS helps reduce food waste, encourage student participation and promote healthier eating habits.
    Students must take at least ½ cup of fruits or vegetables plus two other food groups at lunch and at least ½ cup of fruits or vegetables plus two other food items at breakfast. Students may select the full meal offered if they choose.

    Food Donation

    Find guidance on the food donation program in child nutrition programs below.

    Learn More About the Food Donation Program

    Additional Resources and Required Documentation

    Storage Logs

    Spanish Resources

    Food Safety Resources in Spanish

    (scroll down to 'recursos en Español')


    Questions? Identify Your Point of Contact