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Foods of Minimal Nutritional Value, Sales & Food Service Area

School Food Service Area and the Sale of Foods of Minimal Nutritional Value

Under 7 CFR 210.11(b) of the National School Lunch Program ( NSLP), no "food of minimal nutritional value" ( FMNV), as defined in 7  CFR 210.11(a)(2) and Appendix B, shall be sold in the food service areas during the lunch periods.   Likewise, no  FMNV, as listed in Appendix B of 7 CFR 220, shall be sold in the food service areas during the breakfast service periods, under 7   CFR 220.12(a) of the School Breakfast Program ( SBP).  This memorandum offers guidance on the question of what is a "food service area," for the purpose of determining where  FMNV may not be sold during meal service time.

The term"food service area" refers to any area on school premises where program meals are either served or eaten.  The typical meal service arrangement throughout this Region is one in which reimbursable meals are served to children, and eaten, in a cafeteria-type setting in a single room.  In all such situations, the entire room constitutes the food service area.  Furthermore, if children are served their meals in one room and then go into another room where they are to eat their meals,   each room is a "food service area" for the purpose of applying the competitive food and  FMNV rules.

The NSLP and SBP regulations governing the sale of  FMNV do not prohibit their sale in non-food service areas during NSLP and SBP service periods, and schools are not required to prevent children access to such items when they are sold outside food service areas.  Please note that a separate area in which FMNV may be sold "outside" the food service area may not be created in a food service area by such expedients as the use of markings on the floor, or use of barrier devices, or portable partitions, etc.

The intent of the regulations on competitive foods and  FMNV is to protect the nutritional integrity of school meals.  The guidance we give in this memorandum is consistent with the guidance we have given in the past in response to questions on specific competitive food service situations.  While State agencies (SAs) must exercise judgment in applying and monitoring the competitive foods guidelines, our office will continue to offer assistance to   SAs in applying the regulations and guidance in specific food service situations.

Foods of Minimal Nutritional Value

Appendix B, 7CFR Parts 210 and 220

1)  Soda Water--A class of beverages made by absorbing carbon dioxide in potable water.  The amount of carbon dioxide used is not less than that which will be absorbed by the beverage at a pressure of one atmosphere and at a temperature of 60 degrees Fahrenheit.  It either contains no alcohol or only such alcohol, not in excess of 0.5 percent by weight of the finished beverage, as is contributed by the flavoring ingredient used.  No product shall be excluded from this definition because it contains artificial sweeteners or discrete nutrients added to the food such as vitamins, minerals and protein.

2)  Water Ices--As defined by 21 CFR 135.160 Food and Drug Administration Regulations except that water ices which contain fruit or fruit juices are not included in this definition.

3)  Chewing Gum--Flavored products from natural or synthetic gums and other ingredients which form an insoluble mass for chewing.

4)  Certain Candies--Processed foods made predominantly from sweeteners or artificial sweeteners with a variety of minor ingredients which characterize the following types:

a)  Hard Candy--A product made predominantly from sugar (sucrose) and corn syrup which may be flavored and colored, is characterized by a hard, brittle texture, and includes such items as sour balls, fruit balls, candy sticks, lollipops, starlight mints, after dinner mints, sugar wafers, rock candy, cinnamon candies, breath mints, jaw breakers and cough drops.

b)  Jellies and Gums--A mixture of carbohydrates which are combined to form a stable gelatinous system of jelly-like character, and are generally flavored and colored, and include gum drops, jelly beans, jellied and fruit-flavored slices.

c)  Marshmallow Candies--An aerated confection composed of sugar, corn syrup, invert sugar, 20 percent water and gelatin or egg white to which flavors and colors may be added.

d)  Fondant--A product consisting of microscopic-sized sugar crystals which are separated by thin film of sugar and/or invert sugar in solution such as candy corn, soft mints.

e)  Licorice--A product made predominantly from sugar and corn syrup which is flavored with an extract made from the licorice root.

f)  Spun Candy--A product that is made from sugar that has been boiled at high temperature and spun at a high speed in a special machine.

g)  Candy Coated Popcorn--Popcorn which is coated with a mixture made predominantly from sugar and corn syrup.