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All food items (new products and/or brands of existing products) are subject to testing and evaluation by the Department of Food and Nutrition. The following procedures must be adhered to for product submission for testing and/or evaluation.

  1. Manufacturer and/or distributor must submit materials as stated for a Paper Screen of the product(s) to the Department of Food and Nutrition – Food Planning and Production Test Kitchen, 7042 West Flagler Street, Miami, Florida 33144.

    Paper Screen must include:

    • A copy of the product data sheet and food label including the manufacturer’s code number, establishment number of the manufacturer if a meat product.
    • CN label number and meal pattern contribution, if applicable.
    • Meal pattern contribution.
    • Portion size and case size.
    • Nutrient analysis showing total calories, total fat, saturated fat, trans fat, carbohydrate, protein, sodium and whether the values were from laboratory analysis or calculated from standard database.
  2. Upon approval, an Appearance Screen will be requested for product review by the Menu Committee.
    •  A full-case sample from a production line, not a specially made sample, is to be submitted to the Department of Food and Nutrition, Food Planning and Production Test Kitchen, 7042 West Flagler Street, Miami, Florida 33144.
    • Sample must have a food label imprinted on packaging and the date/shift coding.
    • Sample is to be marked with – (1) Vendor’s name, (2) Bid number as applicable (3) Item number as applicable (4) Product brand name and number(s) (5) grade/portion and case size.
    • Stamped, self-addressed envelope for sample Appearance Screen results.
    • Product(s) will be screened based upon appearance in the raw and cooked state for acceptability of shape, texture, color, smell, plate coverage and availability of recommended preparation equipment.
    • Appointments for sample submissions may be made by contacting Ms. Carol Chong, Director at 786-275-0400.
  3. Upon approval by the Menu Committee, full-case samples from a production line will be requested and scheduled to be Student Taste Tested/Evaluated at designated school sites.
    • Full sample case(s) from a production line will be delivered to designated testing sites. Samples are to be the same as the items submitted for the Appearance Screen.
    •  Product(s) will be tested/evaluated as a part of regular meal service on the same scheduled day(s) in all test sites.
    • Food products will be rated by students as acceptable or unacceptable using a hedonic scale.

Samples: Samples must be provided at no cost. The Department of Food and Nutrition and/or Miami-Dade County Public Schools will assume no cost incident thereto.

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M-DCPS : 1450 NE 2nd Ave. : Miami, FL 33132 : Phone: (305) 995-1000 (For Non Technical Questions Only) © 2015