ERIC Number: ED479290
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2003-May
Reference Count: N/A
School Meal Programs: Few Instances of Foodborne Outbreaks Reported, but Opportunities Exist To Enhance Outbreak Data and Food Safety Practices. Report to Congressional Requesters.
Dyckman, Lawrence J.
This report details a study by the United States General Accounting Office (GAO) of food safety in public schools. The study examined: (1) the frequency and causes of reported food-borne illness outbreaks associated with the federal school-meal programs; and (2) the practices that federal, state, and local governments, as well as other food providers, find useful for safeguarding meals. The study found that 195, about 3 percent, of the total of 7,390 food-borne outbreaks reported nationwide between 1990 and 1999 occurred in schools. Specific national data on whether these outbreaks were related to the federal school-meal programs do not exist; however, a survey of state health officials provided information on 40 large outbreaks from improper food preparation and handling practices in school kitchens. The study also found that state, federal, and local governments, as well as other food providers, use a variety of practices to safeguard meals. GAO recommends that the Centers for Disease Control modify its food-borne-outbreak reporting mechanism to add federal school meals as an outbreak category. GAO also recommends the promotion of training and certification of food-service workers and the study of the advantages and disadvantages of donating precooked or irradiated foods. (WFA)
Descriptors: Breakfast Programs, Child Health, Dining Facilities, Elementary Secondary Education, Federal Aid, Food Handling Facilities, Food Service, Food Standards, Government Publications, Government Role, Lunch Programs, Public Schools, School Health Services, School Safety
U.S. General Accounting Office, 441 G Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20548 (first copy, free; additional copies, $2 each). Tel: 202-512-6000; TDD: 202-512-2537; Fax: 202-512-6061; Web site: http://www.gao.gov. For full text: http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d03530.pdf.
Publication Type: Legal/Legislative/Regulatory Materials; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: General Accounting Office, Washington, DC.