March 28, 2023

Volume XIII, Number 87


March 27, 2023

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USDA Announces Proposed Changes to School Meal Program

  • On February 3, 2023, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced several initiatives to improve the nutritiousness of meals served through the school meal programs, including updates to the nutrition standards for meals served under these programs, as well as updates to the Buy American provisions. The proposed rule detailing these proposed changes was published in the Federal Register today.  See 88 Fed. Reg. 8050 (Feb. 7, 2023).

  • The updates to the nutrition standards will be phased in over a multi-year period and include proposed changes to the following:

    • Added Sugars: Inclusion of limits for certain common sources of added sugars (breakfast cereal, flavored milks, grain-based deserts, and yogurt) in fall 2025 followed by an overall added sugars limit across the weekly menu (<10% calories per meal) in fall 2027. There currently is no added sugars limit in the school meal program.Milk: Two options, one which would maintain the status quo and allow either fat free or low fat (1%) flavored or unflavored milk, and the other of which would allow flavored milk only for high school children starting in fall 2025. Both options include the proposed added sugars limit for flavored milk.Sodium: Reduced sodium limits for the school lunch and school breakfast programs. There are three proposed reductions for the school lunch program (to go into effect in July 2025, 2027, and 2029) and two proposed reductions for the school breakfast program (to go into effect July 2025 and 2027).

    • Whole Grains: Two options, maintain the status quo—80% must be whole grain and any other grains must be enriched—or require that the school breakfast and lunch programs offer only whole grains at last 4/5 day a week.

  • Comments to the proposed rule are due by April 10, 2023.  

© 2023 Keller and Heckman LLPNational Law Review, Volume XIII, Number 38

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Keller and Heckman offers global food and drug services to its clients. Our comprehensive and extensive food and drug practice is one of the largest in the world. We promote, protect, and defend products made by the spectrum of industries regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the European Commission and Member States authorities in the European Union (EU) and similar authorities throughout the world. The products we help get to market include foods, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, veterinary products, dietary supplements, and cosmetics. In addition...