A report provides data on a multi-year research project that identified type, style, age, and condition of available food service equipment in K-12 schools nationwide. The study found smaller schools serving less than 400 lunches per day using ranges, small steam-jacketed kettles, convection ovens, under-range ovens, and manual slicers. No school met the standard for all preparation equipment. Moderate sized schools serving 401-700 lunches were the most well equipped. Generally, as schools increased in size the adequacy of equipment decreased. No school met all eight pieces of production equipment or holding equipment for the large size schools serving 701-1000 lunches. Findings also reveal the schools at the two size extremes to be the least equipped to prepare healthful foods to meet the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) standards. The study recommends that Child Nutrition Programs evaluate their equipment based on the menu served that places emphasis on helping schools evaluate equipment needs to meet DGA standards, and managers should be encouraged to be creative in menu planning and use of equipment to meet DGA standards.
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