Managing Food Safety in Meals Plus Cafeteria Software

As you may know, December is Worldwide Food Safety Month – a unique opportunity to raise awareness of food allergies inside and outside of schools. With all the buzz around increasing awareness and ensuring food safety in school cafeterias, it poses a question; is your school lunch POS software equipped to alert cashiers of students’ food allergies and other limitations?

Meals Plus understands the importance of ensuring student health and safety and wants to make sure you get all the safeguards you and your students need. Meals Plus school POS system provides a number of features associated with food allergies:

  • Custom messages for cafeteria cashiers
  • Bold pop-up alerts of food allergies for individual  students
  • ‘Prohibited’ item settings
  • Special Messages
  • Custom Allergen set-up
  • Student allergy reports

It’s another way we’re keeping the lunchlines moving…safely.

 

Meals Plus Customer Spotlight: Linda Miller, Perkins Local Schools (OH)

Linda Miller of Perkins Local Schools (OH) is a long-time Meals Plus customer that is still finding new ways Meals Plus can help her child nutrition operations. She recently implemented the Menu Planning and Nutrient Analysis program, which helps her stay on top of allergies, menu components and has been “a huge time saver” for her. Get to know Linda in this “Meals Plus Customer Spotlight” and click here to “meet” other food service directors from across the US!

The Dish: How long have you been using Meals Plus?
Linda Miller: I have been a Meals Plus customer since the Fall of 2002. Ben Hooks (CEO) came to demo the system and helped set our school up. As more requirements have been placed on the shoulder of food service directors, I have come to rely on my Meals Plus cafeteria software more and more.

TD: What duties and responsibilities does your position entail?
LM: I am responsible for everything from soup to nuts and bolts! I manage my staff, order food, prepare bids and menus, along with the nutritional analysis of those menus. I am responsible for the upkeep of my software and tons of paperwork that the Meals Plus system helps me with, and even order the equipment and repair parts when necessary. Anything within the Food Service Department winds up on my desk. Meals Plus has made my job easier. Our school is up for review this year and I will be using many of the reports to prepare for the review. Thank you, Meals Plus!

TD: What aspects of your position do you enjoy the most?
LM: I truly enjoy my interactions with the students and my staff. They are what my job is all about.

TD: What do you like to do in your free time?
LM: I have two grandchildren, ages three years old and six months old. They are the light of my life. My husband and I both enjoy gardening, so I’m busy in the summer with flowers and preserving all the vegetables from the gardens. I also enjoy cooking, cross stitch, knitting, crochet and sitting down with a good book.

TD: What is your favorite lunch when you were in school?
LM: Pizza burgers and the wonderful homemade cookies our lunch ladies made every day! I have some of those cookie recipes from my high school days that I still make.

Thank you, Linda, for being a part of the Meals Plus Family!

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Have You "Herb" About These Roasted Potatoes? Yum!

This week is National School Lunch Week!

We’re rolling out recipes for your school cafeterias to try for NSLW, and they are all going to be published in our first-ever Meals Plus Customer Cookbook. The cookbook will feature over 50 school meal recipes submitted by Meals Plus Customers and recipes using USDA Foods. Every Meals Plus Customer will receive one copy, and additional copies will be available for sale. Today’s featured recipe is Herb Roasted Potatoes and was submitted by Buncombe County Child Nutrition Department (NC).

Herb Roasted Potatoes

Ingredients:
20 lbs. potatoes, red, flesh and skin, raw
3 c. oil, vegetable, type b (commodity)
2 tbsp. spices, pepper, black
1/2 c. leaves spices, oregano, dried
1/2 c. spices, parsley, dried
1/4 cup +1 tbsp. garlic, granulated
2 tbsp. salt, table
Onions, raw, 2 LB

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Directions:
1. Wash potatoes – remove brown spots and eyes.
2. Cut into quarters if they are small.
3. If they are larger, cut into 1″ chunks.
4. Combine the oil with all the seasonings and whisk together until well combined.
5. Toss the potatoes with the seasoning mixture.
6. Marinate for 30 minutes.
7. Wash and peel onions.
8. Slice onions into thin strips.
9. Add to the potato mixture. CCP: onions may be prepped 1 day in advance if stored in airtight container and kept at 41°F or below.
10. Place the potatoes in a single layer on sheet pans.
11. Bake in a 400°F oven until the potatoes are tender, lightly browned, and have reached an internal temperature of at least 165°F – 30 to 40 min minutes. CCP: Heat to 135°F or higher.
12. Stir and turn several times to evenly brown the potatoes.
13. Transfer potatoes to steam table pans.
14. Place pans on serving line in heated well.
15. Use a 4 ounce spoodle to serve. CCP: Hold for hot service at 135°F or higher. CCP: No bare hand contact with any cooked or ready to eat food.

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Nutrients per serving:
Calories – 129.491
Chol. (mg) – 0.000
Sodium (mg) – 151.043
Fiber (gm) – 2.601
Iron (mg) – 0.778
Calc. (mg) – 17.051
Vit. A (IU) – 37.357
Vit. C (mg) – 19.301
Protein (gm) – 1.801
Carb. (gm) – 16.043
Tot. Fat (gm) – 6.812
Sat. Fat (gm) – 0.971
Sugars (gm) – 0.000*
Trans. Fat (gm) – 0.000*

We have been sharing one recipe from our Customer Cookbook all week in honor of NSLW, so stay tuned for more school lunch recipes. Click here for our other featured recipes, and check out the the School Nutrition Association’s NSLW 2015 Toolkit for free handouts, tips to celebrate NSLW and a photo contest!

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