Obama’s legacy: A salad bar in every school?

But please, stop laughing, because it might actually not happen, thanks to…big government:

The White House is set to announce on Monday a major new initiative that would place up to 5,000 salad bars in public schools nationwide, despite uncertainties over how local health inspectors might treat those salad bars and USDA nutrition-tracking rules that could prove a major impediment….One potential obstacle to the program is the refusal of many school districts to install salad bars for food-safety reasons and because of cumbersome USDA rules governing the federally subsidized school lunch program that feeds some 31 million U.S. school children every day.

Cooper named three school districts she knows of—Philadelphia, Austin, Tex., and Montgomery County, Md.,—that have already indicated they will not support salad bars. Concerns have been raised that elementary school children in particular might be prone to spread disease at salad bars because they are too short for the standard “sneeze guard” installed on most salad bars, or because they might use their hands instead of the serving utensils provided….

[S]chools also are deterred by USDA regulations that require students to pass by a cash register or “point of sale” station after they have been to the salad bar to ensure that they have served themselves the correct portions of fruits and vegetables required under the federal lunch program. In October, the USDA’s Food and Services division, which oversees the subsidized meal program, circulated a memo saying that while it encourages the use of salad bars in schools, school menu planners must tell students the minimum amounts they must take from salad bars, cashiers “must be trained to judge accurately the quantities of self-service items,” and point-of-sale registers “must be stationed after the salad bar.”

Beltway ConfidentialobesityUSUSDA

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