Produce Safety a Top Priority When Serving Fresh Fruits and Vegetables in DC Schools

Increased funding through the USDA Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program and the Healthy Schools Act have increased farm-to-school initiatives, school gardens, and the amount of fresh produce being served in schools in DC. Along with all of the excitement about these initiatives has come concern about potential food safety risks associated with these activities. This prompted USDA to develop Produce Safety University. Erica Steinhart and Noni Robinson of OSSE’s Wellness and Nutrition Services Division recently attended Produce Safety University where they learned how to mitigate food safety risks in fresh produce. They have returned to DC prepared to pass this information along to the LEAs and to help them safely process and serve fresh fruits and vegetables in the schools. Visit OSSE’s website to learn more about the DC Farm to School Initiative and if you are an elementary schools that serves meals in the national school lunch program, apply for additional subsidies to provide fresh fruits and vegetables to your students.

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