Last issue, we discussed the magnitude of the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and the role Adams Cold Storage (ACS) played these past and current years in a very strict, highly enforced process. [emember_protected custom_msg=”Click here and register now to read the rest of the article!”]
The standards for the NSLP’s food-supply chain are so strict, in fact, that trucks moving products for the program must use high-security, tamper-resistant serially numbered seals, the same kind required for cargo containers on ships loaded with imported goods. These high-security seals, made of thick-gauge steel, run about $2.20 each. By comparison, tamper-evident seals for other food products moved around the country run about 21 cents each.
In the food-supply chain, Florida facilities like ACS are audited quarterly by the Bureau of Food Distribution, an arm of the Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, which is under contract with the federal government to administer the NSLP in the Sunshine State. Each of those audits takes about a day and a half to complete. In addition, ACS undergoes a thorough and intensive physical audit by the Bureau of Food Distribution annually. The complete annual audit takes four to five days to complete, and storage temperatures must be proven by the day for the prior year. Receipts, conditions, and delivery documents are also examined for 100 percent accuracy.
When it comes to the health, wellness and nutrition of millions of children served daily by the NSLP, anything but the highest standards for the program’s food-supply and cold-supply chains wouldn’t be acceptable.
column by BEN ADAMS, JR.
BIO: Ben Adams, Jr. is an owner and president of Adams Cold Storage, LLC. He has been directly involved in citrus production, warehousing and distribution, as well as state and community support since 1980. His current facility incorporates 200,000 square feet of multi-temperature warehousing, with an extensive expansion plan on the horizon. [/emember_protected]