Beef in School Meals

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Date: Friday, January 10, 2014

On Friday, Jan. 3, the USDA published a final rule that makes permanent the elimination of weekly maximums for grains and meat/meat alternates served in school meals. Under this rule, schools will continue to be allowed to serve larger portions of lean meat and grain foods in school lunches, though they still will be required to meet calorie maximums and other limits, including maximums on saturated fat and sodium. The updated rule will continue to provide school lunch meal planning experts greater flexibility and will be effective March 4, 2014.


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The Beef Checkoff Program was established as part of the 1985 Farm Bill. The checkoff assesses $1 per head on the sale of live domestic and imported cattle, in addition to a comparable assessment on imported beef and beef products. States retain up to 50 cents on the dollar and forward the other 50 cents per head to the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board, which administers the national checkoff program, subject to USDA approval.
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