• Samantha Marshall

Meal Production Records - A Thing of the Past in California

On Friday, California Department of Education (CDE) announced that effective October 1, 2020 - Meal Production Records are no longer needed! Instead centers are to maintain menus with serving sizes for each food item and each age group served. Note that At-Risk Afterschool, family child care providers and emergency shelters are exempt from this requirement.


Copied below is the email from CDE to program operators.

Conference is coming! CDE will be joining our virtual conference for a live session about CACFP Program Management during the pandemic. Join CDE, USDA and your CACFP Community for virtual dialogue in November. Learn More and register: https://www.ccfproundtable.org/2020conference

Dear Program Operator:


The California Department of Education (CDE) is pleased to announce the following Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) nutrition policy updates and resources:

1.  New CDE Policy: Menu Production Records (MPR) no Longer Required

Effective October 1, 2020, the CDE no longer requires CACFP centers to maintain MPRs. In lieu of MPRs, effective October 1, 2020, centers are required to maintain menus with serving sizes for each food item and each age group served. At-risk Afterschool Meal programs, day care home providers, and emergency shelters are exempt from this requirement.


2.  Updated CDE Management Bulletin (MB): Documentation Requirements for the CACFP Meal Patterns

The CDE MB CACFP 01-2020, Documentation Requirements for the CACFP Meal Patterns, posted September 2020, supersedes CDE MB, CACFP 02-2018, Documentation Requirements for the CACFP Meal Patterns. This CDE MB was updated to:

  • Include guidance and links to menu templates (optional) that can be used to meet the new CDE policy requiring centers to maintain menus with serving sizes in lieu of MPRs. This information is included in Section II. Child and Adult Menus.

  • Remove guidance on the administrative review (AR) process and timeline. This information is now included in Section 16 of the CDE CACFP Administrative Manual.

3. Revised CDE CACFP Administrative Manual: Sections 9.1, 9.2, and 16

These sections are accessible on the CDE CACFP Administrative Manual web page.

  • Section 9.1 Documenting and Crediting Meals, was previously titled, Menu Planning, and included the requirement for centers to maintain MPRs. It includes the updated policy for centers to maintain menus with serving sizes in lieu of MPRs.

  • Section 9.2, Preparing Meals, was also updated to include the requirement for centers to maintain menus with serving sizes in lieu of MPRs.

  • Section 16, AR Process for Compliance with the CACFP Meal Patterns is new. This section was added to provide:

Details and the timeframes for the AR process to demonstrate compliance with the CACFP meal patterns. This information was previously included in the superseded CDE MB CACFP 02-2018, Documentation Requirements for CACFP Meal Patterns, but is not included in the replacement CDE MB CACFP 01-2020.

The AR process for compliance with meal pattern documentation includes only two timeframes: month of the AR and the day of the onsite meal observation. A third timeframe, the week of the AR, was included as part of the AR in prior program years to review a week of MPRs; however, the week of the AR is no longer required effective October 1, 2020, since MPRs are no longer required.

Important Notice for CACFP Operators Scheduled for an AR in Program Year (PY) 2020–21:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) COVID–19: Child Nutrition Response #40, Nationwide Waiver of Onsite Monitoring Requirements for State Agencies in the CACFP–Extension 2 memo, issued on August 4, 2020, provides the flexibility for the CDE to conduct the AR as an off-site review. The CDE will contact CACFP Operators scheduled for an AR in PY 2020–21 with guidance on how the CDE will conduct the AR as an off-site review for PY 2020–21.


4. New CACFP Resource: CACFP Checklist of Requirements by Timeframe for Centers

The CDE consolidated the CACFP Child Care Agency Task Checklist (CACFP Form ID 82), which outlined all nonmeal pattern CACFP tasks required daily, monthly, and annually, and the CACFP Meal Patterns Requirements Checklist (CACFP Form ID 89), which outlined meal pattern documentation requirements. The consolidated checklist, CACFP Checklist of Requirements by Timeframe for Centers (CACFP Form ID 82), outlines all documentation requirements by timeframe. The checklist is accessible in the Download Forms section of the Child Nutrition Information and Payment System.


5. New Food Buying Guide Resources

The CDE developed a CDE Food Buying Guide (FBG) Calculator web page to provide guidance on determining the amount of foods to purchase to meet the meal pattern requirements since MPRs are no longer required.  The CDE also posted the USDA Navigating the FBG Calculator online course in the CDE Child Nutrition Programs Course Catalog web page which provides similar information in a video format versus a written explanation.

Contact Information

If you have any questions regarding this subject, please contact your CACFP program specialist. Contact information is available on the CDE CACFP Contact List web page.

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Phone: (858) 449-3597

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