USDA Foods Bone-in-Chicken Products
USDA Food and Nutrition Service policy memo SP 26-2013, "Extending Flexibility in the Meat/Meat Alternate and Grains Maximums for School Year 2013-14" extends the flexibility' regarding Meat/Meat Alternate (M/MA) maximums for SY 2013-14, allowing state agencies to assess compliance based on the minimum daily and weekly serving requirements only. This means school food authorities (SFAs) that serve meals that exceed the limit on the number of ounces of M/MA that can be served in any given week, may be considered compliant as long as SFAs remain in compliance with the calorie requirements of the new meal pattern.
Under this flexibility, program operators are able to use USDA's bone-in chicken products through school year 2013-2014, with careful attention to calorie requirements. According to the USDA Foods Fact Sheet for oven roasted 8-piece chicken (material 110080), the chicken breast contributes 5.25 oz. creditable meat (meat and skin), and 262.5 calories. For USDA Foods 8-piece cut up raw chicken (material 100098), the cooked breast (meat and skin) contributes about 294 calories. Thus, with careful menu planning, either of these options could fit into an 850 calorie high school lunch meal (averaged over the week), if served no more than once a week.
To provide menu planners the option and flexibility to serve these products within the weekly calorie maximums, USDA will offer the following bone-in chicken products for School Year 2013-2014, with initial orders from states due May 1, 2013. Other opportunities to order these items will also be available through the school year:
100098 - Chicken Cut-Up Frozen 8 piece;
100100 - Chicken Small Chilled - Bulk (for processing only); and,
110080 - Chicken Oven Roasted Frozen 8 piece.
USDA will continue to work with industry to explore new bone-in chicken specifications and identify options that will yield a cooked portion more appropriate to serve in school meals on a regular basis.