Calif. director champions new school meal regs

Director developed salad bar that became national standard.

Sept. 10—Riverside (Calif.) Unified School District is ahead of the curve when it comes to implementing the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. 

That fact can be attributed to Rodney Taylor, director of nutrition services for the Riverside Unified School District, who is considered a “rock star” in the effort. With more than 30 years of experience in the culinary arts, Taylor found his passion in food service and even established a national model, the “Farmer’s Market Salad Bar” (FMSB) program in 1997, while working as the director of Food and Nutrition Services in the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District. He brought this program to Riverside in 2005.

The salad bar features locally grown produce and helps teach elementary school kids to be lifelong healthy eaters by increasing access and availability of fruits and vegetables, and through hands-on education components that include field trips to farms, school gardens and farmer visits to classrooms.

More From FoodService Director

Menu Development
chili spaghetti

Iconic local dishes like Cincinnati chili may not be entirely healthy, but they are incredibly popular. Across the country, K-12 operators are finding ways to add these foods to their lunch menus while still meeting their nutritional requirements. How are they adapting popular recipes and bringing them to schools—and is it worth it?

Cincinnati chili has been a staple of Mason City Schools lunches for as long as anyone can remember. Located just outside of Cincinnati, the school system serves its chili in two traditional ways: covering a pile of spaghetti, or atop a cheese Coney dog...

Ideas and Innovation
torch flame

There’s more than one way to open a wine bottle. When a corkscrew is nowhere to be found, David Brue—chef de cuisine and production manager for The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center’s central production kitchen in Columbus, Ohio—reaches for his butane torch.

“I can never find a corkscrew anywhere, but for some reason, I always have a torch,” Brue says. “Heat the neck of the bottle carefully, and the cork pops right out.”

Managing Your Business
uconn gluten free bakery

When Amarillo Independent School District opened a central bakery , the foodservice team faced years of challenges: getting a handle on equipment, refining recipes and planning for shrinkage, says Michael Brungo, residential district manager of dining services for Chartwells at the Amarillo, Texas, district. Through trial and error, the right solutions at the bakery—which provides sliced bread and sandwich buns for the district’s 55 schools—rose to the top.

Though kitchens in general can be a minefield of issues, bakeries present some unique challenges thanks in part to the finicky...

Managing Your Business
food safety manager paperwork

Food safety can be a lot to handle, requiring plenty of paperwork and diligence to ensure a kitchen complies with health regulations. It’s important to assess the structure of a food safety program —and to know what’s required, and what’s just good to have on hand.

In recent years, as Virginia Tech’s foodservice operations have expanded, so has its Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points strategy. The Blacksburg, Va., university doubled its food safety staff to two employees, in addition to a training project coordinator and a manager to teach basic food safety classes to...

FSD Resources