Recipe Identification and Verification Phase

Vegetable-Medley-GraphicSchool Food Authority (SFA) identifies potential recipes for their assigned vegetable using strategies described in their proposals. See Appendix A for a list of possible strategies, ideas for implementation, benefits, and resources.

The SFA recipe development team reviews the potential recipes with the following considerations in mind:

  • Does the production site have the equipment needed to produce the recipe? Is the equipment that is needed available in most US schools?
  • Does the staff have the skill level needed to produce the recipe? Would the skill level that is needed to produce the recipe be at a level that it would make production feasible for most schools?
  • Are the ingredients selected readily available?
  • Does the cost of the ingredients fit within a school budget?
  • Is this a recipe that is likely to be well received by your customers?
  • Does the recipe reflect cultural or regional preferences or preparation methods?
  • Is the targeted vegetable one of the top four ingredients by weight or volume?

SFA communicates with Project Directors and Chef regarding recipes they are considering. Project Directors confirm that the recipes do not already exist as USDA standardized recipes and provide input regarding the likelihood that the recipes will meet the required nutrition and other guidelines and offer suggestions for modifications if needed. Chef provides input regarding the feasibility of the recipes and offers suggestions for modification if needed. The Chef will consult with each sub-grant school via telephone and e-mail during the initial recipe identification/development stage.

Recipes are prepared in small batches and small groups of students are recruited to provide input in focus group formats. Recipes may be adjusted based on student input. The Chef will visit each school during recipe preparation to offer hands-on assistance, guidance, and critiquing.

SFA works with Chef to scale up the recipe to 50 and 100 servings and put into recipe template. See Appendix B for the recipe template and Appendix C for a description of the components of a standardized recipe. SFAs should use the Recipe Review Checklist (Appendix D) to verify that the recipe includes all the required information.

Recipes (in the template) are submitted to Project Directors for nutritional and crediting analysis. Feedback is provided to the SFAs. Modifications are made, if needed, and recipes are reanalyzed.

Recipes are verified for yield. See Appendix E.


Product Evaluation Phase

Recipes are prepared and tasted by SFA nutrition staff and production staff who provide input regarding the practicality of the recipe using the Informal Evaluation Checklist (Appendix F.) If the answer to all questions is yes, SFAs proceed to the next phase. If the answer is no to one or two questions, the SFA makes adjustments to the recipe, does another small batch taste-testing and informal evaluation. If the answer is no to three or more questions, strong consideration should be given to not continuing with this recipe’s standardization.

Student taste-tests are conducted with a minimum of 50 students from NSLP-participating schools using the PA HOM Taste-Testing Guide and ballots (Appendix G.) An 85% approval rating is required in order to be accepted as a standardized recipe. The Chef, who has extensive experience with student taste-tests, will be present at each school during the taste-testing and evaluation phase to assist the SFAs in conducting the taste-tests.


Quantity Adjustment Phase

The recipe is prepared at least three times in the same kitchen to verify consistent yield. If the recipe does not provide the appropriate yield of 50 and 100 servings it is adjusted using the Factor Method.

Activities described above should be completed by May 31, 2022.


School Meal Service Phase

In the summer of 2022 a one-day culinary training will be held in the Harrisburg area. Up to three representatives from each SFA will attend this session. During this hands-on session participants will be taught how to prepare the final recipes. Following recipe preparation, each of the recipes will be sampled and a discussion will take place to gather feedback regarding the practicality of the recipes as part of ongoing school meal service operations. If needed, recipe instructions will be modified based on this feedback. Discussions will also be held to gather ideas for how to market the recipes. Use of PA HOM materials will be encouraged. Each SFA will be assigned up to two recipes that they will commit to prepare and serve during at least one meal service in at least one school site during school year 2022-23 school year prior to February 28, 2023.

In connection with the service of the final recipes, SFAs will plan and implement activities to educate students about the local agricultural products included in the standardized recipes connecting this education with the school meal service. Since the featured agricultural products are part of the PA HOM program it is expected that program materials will be used to provide that education and promote the school meal connection. SFAs will also be encouraged to invite local farmers to participate in these events. As part of this school meal service and nutrition education phase SFAs will assess students’ willingness to try the new recipes by documenting and reporting the number of servings served to students. They will also gather and report feedback from students on the recipes using taste-testing procedures and tools.

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