Comment Request - Child Nutrition Database
This is a revision of a currently approved collection. This collection is the voluntary submission of data including nutrient data from the food industry to update and expand the Child Nutrition (CN) Database in support of the Child Nutrition Act of 1966.
The CN Database is required in nutrient analysis software approved by USDA for use in the school meal programs. The software allows schools participating in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP) to analyze meals and measure the compliance of their menus with established nutrition goals and standards specified under these programs.
The development of the Child Nutrition (CN) Database is regulated by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Nutrition Service. This database is designed to be incorporated in USDA-approved nutrient analysis software and provide an accurate source of nutrient data. The software allows schools participating in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP) to analyze meals and measure the compliance of their menus with established nutrition goals and standards specified in 7 CFR 210.10 for the NSLP and 7 CFR 220.8 for the SBP.
The information collection for the CN Database is conducted using an outside contractor. The CN Database is updated annually with brand name or manufactured foods commonly used in school food service. To update and expand the CN Database, collection of this information is accomplished by form FNS-710, CN Database Qualification Report. The Food and Nutrition Service's contractor collects this data from the food industry through a spreadsheet version of the FNS-710.
The online web tool and paper version have been deleted from the collection because they are no longer used. The online web tool was discontinued due to outdated technology. The paper form was discontinued because no data was submitted by industry using the paper form for many years. The spreadsheet was edited to update terminology and instructions. These changes do not affect the burden for the collection. However, FNS has changed how the frequency and the estimated time per response are determined. Previously the frequency of response (or total annual responses per respondent) was defined as each food item reported (n=1,120) and the hours per response represented the amount of time to report 1 food item (n=2 hours).
The current burden defines the frequency of response as the number of times a manufacturer responds per year (1) with the hours adjusted to represent the total hours for the submission (estimated number of food items per manufacturer  × 2 hours per food item). As a result, the number of responses for this collection have changed; however, the total overall burden remains the same (estimated 32 manufacturers × 1 response per year × 35 items per manufacturer × 2 hours per item).
The submission of data from the food industry will be strictly voluntary, and based on analytical, calculated, or nutrition facts label sources. FNS is currently researching options for modernizing the Child Nutrition Database, including the data collection, compilation, and dissemination of data. FNS is exploring the use of existing data sets and processes to collect nutrient data for food products marketed to schools. The current process is needed until the new process is finalized and in place.