Tag Archives: school lunch

2017 Back to School Kitchen Equipment Guide

Is your school’s kitchen prepared for another year? From elementary up to universities, we rounded up a few of the most important pieces for a successful year! For additional helpful information, visit Central’s School Homeroom page.

True TMC-58 Forced Air Milk Cooler

A staple for the lunch line, keep milk cartons within reach for kids of all ages! The oversized refrigeration system provides better tasting milk and increased sales.  Plus, show your school pride with 26 color options! Trust the reliability of True products!

 

True T-49 Reach-In Refrigerator

The True T-49 reach-in refrigerator is one of the best in the industry, and has a five star rating on our website! It’s spacious 49 cubic foot interior is ideal for storing anything you need for your school’s cafeteria. With a temperature range of 33°F to 38°F, you will get the best possible food preservation and safety.

 

Metro C539 Holding and Transport Cabinet

Often times in school foodservice operations, food is prepared in advanced and has to be stored for the various lunch periods. The Metro C539 holding and transport cabinet is the perfect solution to hold food. It comes with the choice of Lexan (clear) or solid doors that are insulated to keep in heat. The adjustable digital thermostat is easy to use with recessed controls for safety. It also includes 17 slide pairs and can hold 34 full-size sheet pans.

 

Flatware Holders and Cylinders

Central has stainless steel and plastic flatware holders and cylinders, which allows flatware to dry in the vertical position.

Leaving flatware on it’s side doesn’t make for a very sanitary situation as lipids, acids and chemicals are laying on each other.

The stainless steel holders have a stainless steel construction with rubber feed for stabilization.  They’re also dishwasher safe. Plastic flatware holders and cylinders are heavy duty and long wearing.

 

Compartment Trays

Styrofoam trays cause cafeterias to throw away money on a monthly basis, plus have several negative effects to the environment too.

There many types of non-disposable trays out there constructed of a variety of materials. Read our compartment tray buying guide to see which trays excel in certain areas to find the perfect one for your foodservice. You can also look into ENERGY STAR® rated dishwashers to save on your water costs as well.

 

Need Help?

Central hand-picked all the items in our School Homeroom section of our website! Feel free to contact us at 800-215-9293 with any questions for your school foodservice needs. Working on a grant or bid? We can help with that too! We work with schools to get you the total amount or quote needed so you can finalize your application. Call or live chat with us now for details.

 

Top Image Credit: USDA

school food service

Latest School Food Service News and Pre-Holiday Checklist

As the holiday season inches closer and closer, catch up on the latest school food service news and create a pre-holiday checklist.

school food serviceLatest School Food Service News

President Signs Bill To Increase EpiPens in Schools

With life threatening allergies on the rise, President Obama signed a bill on Wednesday November 13 to increase EpiPens in schools.  Read more from The Wall Street Journal.

FAME Award Winners Announced

Winners have been announced for the 25th annual Foodservice Achievement Management Excellence (FAME) Awards program.   Sandra Ford, SNS, director, Food and Nutrition Services of the Manatee County School District in Bradenton, Fla. won Golden Food Service Director of the Year. Read about this award and learn about other award winners from the School Nutrition Association.

Data Now Available for National School Lunch Participation and More

The USDA has updated data for Child Nutrition Tables. Learn about National School Lunch and School Breakfast participation, program costs, meals served and more on from the USDA.

Changes to National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs

The USDA’s Food and Nutrition Services has proposed a rule “to amend the eligibility regulations for free and reduced price meals under the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program to codify the statutory provision that establishes the community eligibility provision, a reimbursement option for eligible local educational agencies and schools that wish to offer free school meals to all children in high poverty schools without collecting household applications.” Read the rule in it’s entirety or read a summarized version from the the School Nutrition Association.

Farm to School Month and School to Farm Census Results

October was the USDA’s Farm to School Month. During this year’s event, they released the first “Farm to School Census” from the 2011 to 2012 school year.  This study concluded there were over 38,000 schools with 21 million students serving over $350 million in local food.  Read more from the USDA and view the census results.

school food servicePre-Holiday Checklist

Replace Old Equipment

It is easy to ignore problems or or fail to keep up with routine maintenance when it comes to food service equipment–that is until something goes out completely.  Never wait until equipment is broken because in some cases it can take days for a service call to get resolved (which could be detrimental to your operation).  Take some time to review routine maintenance goals and replace equipment (or supplies) if necessary.

Review Food Safety Goals

Make sure school food service employees are following all food safety guidelines from proper handwashing techniques to cooking food thoroughly. Our Food Safety Resource Guide can help fill in any blanks and read articles about food safety on our blog.

Implement or Reassess Food Allergy Protocol

According to Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE), one of every 13 children are affected by food allergies. Whether your school food service is very familiar with allergies, or is just learning how to implement procedures, it’s important to review your strategy.  In October, the CDC released “Voluntary Guidelines for Managing Food Allergies in Schools and Early Care and Education Programs” which is a great resource for schools of all levels.

school food serviceApply for Grants

Take advantage of potential free money to improve your school food service. Here are a  few grants currently available on a national level, be sure to search your area for local grants:

Analyze Food Buying Procedures

Take some time to review how much your school food service is buying and spending.  The National Food Service Management Institute of the University of Mississippi has created this helpful “Food Buying Guide” which is a calculator for the child nutrition programs.  It allows you to choose a type of food, serving size and number of servings then calculates how much should be purchased.  This is a free feature that doesn’t require (or even have) login information; simply print or email your list.

 

Foodservice Industry Week in Brief: October 26

Looking for some of the week’s top information for the foodservice industry? Check out these 10 stories, plus this week’s promotion from Central, for the week of October 22-26

Top 10 Foodservice Industry Stories

National Restaurant Association: Restaurateurs–Make informed decisions; vote

Nation’s Restaurant News: Restaurant promotions leverage presidential election

MedCity News: Free fruit at school tied to fewer junk snacks

Convenience Store News: NRA hosting new foodservice recovery summit

QSR: Taco Bell hits home run with “Steal a Base, Steal a Taco”

National Restaurant Association: Suit settlement won’t fix broken swipe-fee system

Eater: Disney Just might buy the Food Network

Dine Out for No Kid Hungry: Joint letter to the presidential candidates: What are your plans for addressing child poverty?

HuffPost Food: McDonald’s holiday menu–Golden arches serving egg nog shakes, pumpkin desserts this winter

National Restaurant Association: The rap on foodservice packaging recovery

This Week’s Promotion from Central

Lowest Prices & Free Shipping on Star Panini Grills

Subscribe to Central’s email list and get subscriber-only benefits such as special discounts, new product alerts and even early access to our clearance list.

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for other daily foodservice news throughout the week!

Also, be sure to check out our Pinterest boards and watch videos on our YouTube channel.

Foodservice Industry Week in Brief: October 19

Looking for some of the week’s top information for the foodservice industry? Check out these 10 stories, plus this week’s promotion from Central, for the week of October 15-19.

Top 10 Foodservice Industry Stories

Huffington Post: World’s Most Expensive Brew is Made with Pooped-Out Beans

Eater: Yelp Cracking Down on Businesses That Buy Fake Reviews

SunSentinel: Schools Get Creative So Kids Eat Greens

NRN: Burger King Introduces Holiday Dessert LTOs

Business Insider: Restaurants Are Starting To Make Instagram Menus

Daily Mail: Former Chef Churns Out His Stunning Art Sculptures Just Using Butter

WBTV: Students Still Hungry After School Lunch

Yahoo Finance: Restaurant Cell Phone Distractions Still Irritate

NRA: Six States Announce New Minimum Wage Rates for 2013

Food Safety News: Dole Recalls Bagged Salad In 10 States For Listeria Risk

 

This Week’s Promotion from Central

Lowest Prices & Free Shipping on Star Charbroilers

 

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for other daily foodservice news throughout the week! We’ve also added new pins to our Fall Food and Halloween Treats boards on Pinterest to help inspire you for the upcoming Holiday season!

National School Lunch Week: School Lunch–What’s Cooking?

The School Nutrition Association’s annual event, National School Lunch Week, was celebrated this year the week of October 14-20 with the theme “School Lunch–What’s Cooking?

National School Lunch Week is the conclusion of a three month campaign that began in July.

School Lunch–What’s Cooking?

“School Lunch–What’s Cooking?” is based on the revisions made to school nutrition guidelines and has focused on showcasing how schools have adapted to the changes.

These changes were implemented on July 1, 2012 by the USDA and increased the amount of fruit, vegetables and whole grains in schools.  It also updated dietary restrictions.

Schools Are Stepping It Up

The School Nutrition Association explained this year’s theme  has been “about celebrating positive changes that have been made in school lunch programs across the country.”

They also added that schools have really stepped it up and can showcase their work and share their ideas through this campaign.

National School Lunch Week is a great way for schools to share what they’ve done and bring awareness to healthy meals.  The School Nutrition Association encourages schools to get involved on their website and through Facebook.  Stories and successes submitted to their website will have a chance to be featured in the April 2013 issue of School Nutrition Magazine.

Articles and Resources

For more information about National School Lunch Week, visit some of these resources:

Sharing Your Celebration (For School Lunches)

Tools for Kids

What Makes A School Meal?

Presidential Proclamation

Jamie Oliver: National School Lunch Week

QSR: National School Lunch Week Spotlights Healthy Choices

Take Your Parents To Lunch Day

 

 

 

10 Products to Update Your School Foodservice This Fall

School is back in session, and the 2012-2013 academic school year definitely began differently than any other year before it.  For many schools, this particular year presented new changes and challenges as foodservices had to adapt their menus to meet the new USDA meal guidelines.

The changes went into affect on July 1, and was the first of seven phases per the USDA’s implementation timeline.  The last phase set to be complete for the 2022-2023 school year.

The new guidelines specify amounts for fruits, vegetables, grains, meat and meat alternatives and milk and included dietary specifications to be met each week.

Because of these guidelines, portion sizes are as important as ever for schools.  This is where the right utensil can make the new guidelines much easier to adapt to.  Many of the manufacturers on Central’s website have portioners, spoodles, dishers, etc., color-coded by the ounce to make scooping the appropriate serving size quick and easy.

Looking beyond the new USDA guidelines, there are several pieces of equipment and supplies that make a school foodservice run smoothly.  Using a piece of old equipment can be less energy efficient or could make a task more difficult than it needs to be.  Upgrading old equipment and supplies can definitely provide long term savings.

10 Products and Categories to Update the School Cafeteria

Don’t hesitate to contact a Central Product Consultant at 800-215-9293 with any questions about school foodservice equipment.

Cold Food Pans and Hot Food Pans

Compartment Trays

Cooking Equipment

Dishwashing and Sanitation

Food Portioners, Dishers and Spoodles

Food Preparation

Measuring Cups and Spoons

Milk Coolers

Refrigeration

Shelving

 

School’s in Session! Get Your Cafeteria Through This School Year with Central

Here at Central, we specialize in every part of the foodservice industry–especially school foodservices.  Now that school is in session, we want you to know we’re here for you and have everything you need for the 2012-2013 school year.

Online

We have an entire section of our website strictly dedicated to school products.  From there, you can browse through refrigeration, dishwashing and  cooking equipment, concession products, food prep and dining room supplies, shelving and furniture.

We’ve even compiled a small list of questions for you to answer prior to calling a Product Consultant that will help expedite the buying process on our page, Expert Solutions in School Nutrition Equipment.

Expert Help

One of the great things about Central is we always have someone on-hand to help you. Whether you’re working with a Product Consultant you’ve never worked with before, or have someone you go to every time, they are always there and ready to help.

It can be stressful trying to decide what to order because there are so many options and it can require some research.  But when you’re talking to one of Central’s Product Consultants, they’ve already done their homework so you don’t have to. They’ll know what questions to ask, which accessories you need, etc.  Just call 800-215-9293.  Phone lines are open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday (EST).

Blog

Each month on the Central Blog, we include information that specifically pertains to school foodservices.  We are sure to cover major events, but also include other news stories and equipment ideas too.  (Find all of our school blogs by going to the bottom of our blog under our “From the Past” section and choose “Schools” from the “Select Category” drop-down”.  You don’t even have to select a month unless you would like to).

Most recently, when the new USDA guidelines began on July 1, we went through and compiled all the updates for the 2012-2013 school year and created the Complete Guide on New Standards for School Meals: July 1 Changes.  In addition to the USDA changes, we also included product suggestions based on those new guidelines.

We hope everyone has a great 2012-2013 school year! We look forward to working with you.

 

Complete Guide on New Standards for School Meals: July 1 Changes

In late January of 2012, First Lady Michelle Obama and Agricultural Secretary Tom Vilsak introduced new standards for school meals.  These new guidelines will be implemented in phases all the way out to the 2022-2023 school year, with the first phase beginning on July 1 for the 2012-2013 school year.

Introduction and Links to Bookmark

With schools needing to implement changes on July 1, Central is ready to help in any way possible.  Below is an overview of the new guidelines and list of products that can help with new portion requirements. Don’t hesitate to call one of our Product Consultants at 800-215-9293 with any questions on your school foodservice needs.

Below is a recap of the new guidelines that are to be implemented on July 1.  See a complete overview slideshow in full detail, including upcoming school years, on the USDA website.

To make it easier to find information, each new requirement below includes the corresponding slides.  Other important items to bookmark are:

Lunch Requirements

The USDA has provided a Lunch Meal Pattern for all food items (slide 9). Below find details on each requirement for the July 1, 2012 implementation with links and slide page numbers to refer to for all information.

Fruit
Slides 10 to 11

  • Offer fruit daily
  • Minimum of ½ cup per day

Vegetables
Slides 12 to 14

  • Offer vegetables subgroups weekly
  • Minimum of ¾ cup per day
  • The weekly requirements are for: Dark green, red/orange, beans/peas (legumes), starchy or other (as defined in 2010 dietary guidelines)

Grains
Slides 15 to 18

  • Half of grains must be whole grain-rich and must offer weekly grains ranges.  Whole grain-rich is at least 50 percent whole grains.
  • The USDA says, “If the first ingredient is water, a whole grain may be listed as the second ingredient and still meet our whole grain-rich criteria.”
  • Serving Minimum Requirements:
    • Grades K-5: 1 ounce eq. per day or 8-9 ounces per week
    • Grades 6- 8: 1 ounce eq. per day or 8-10 ounces per week
    • Grades 9- 12: 2 ounce eq. per day or 10-12 ounces per week

Meat/Meat Alternatives
Slides 19 to 20

  • Offer weekly meats/meat alternatives ranges (daily minimum)
  • Serving Minimum Requirements:
    • Grades K-5: 1 ounce eq. per day or 8-10 ounces per week
    • Grades 6-8: 1 ounce eq. per day or 9-10 ounces per week
    • Grades 9-12: 2 ounce eq. per day or 10-12 ounces per week

Milk
Slides 21 to 22

  • Offer only fat-free (unflavored or flavored) and low-fat (unflavored) milk
  • Serving Minimum Requirements (same for grades K-12):
    • 1 cup per day or 5 cups per week

Dietary Specifications (to be met on average over a week)
Slides 34 to 39

  • Calorie ranges:
    • Grades K-5: Breakfast: 350-500, Lunch: 550-650
    • Grades 6-8: Breakfast 400-500, Lunch: 600-700
    • Grades 9-12: Breakfast: 450-600, Lunch: 750-850
    • Saturated fat limit
      • Less than 10 percent of total calories
      • Zero grams of trans fat per portion

More lunch requirements are going into effect on July 1 on menu planning, age-grade groups, offer vs. serve and monitoring.  Review the USDA’s Implementation Timeline for details.

Breakfast Requirements

The USDA has provided a Breakfast Meal Pattern for all food items (slide 25). Below find details on each requirement for the July 1, 2012 implementation with links and slide page numbers to refer to for all information.

Milk
Slides 30 to 31

  • Serving Minimum Requirements (same for grades K-12):
    • 1 cup per day or 5 cups per week

Dietary Specifications (to be met on average over a week)
Slides 34 to 29

  • Zero grams of trans fat per portion

Central’s Product Suggestions

Need new equipment? Below are suggestions by Product Consultant Dan Merriman. Again, don’t hesitate to contact a Central Product Consultant at 800-215-9293 with help on the new guidelines and purchasing equipment.

Food Portioners

Spoodles

Measuring Cups and Spoons

Dishers

Compartment Trays

Milk Coolers

Cold Food Pans

Hot Food Pans