USDA cafeterias get a healthy makeover

No more fryers for the agency in charge of the push for healthy meals.

Feb. 4—Ken Choi, chief operating officer for I.L. Creations in Rockville, has a good idea of what federal workers like to eat. The food service company runs cafeterias at the Energy Department, the Eisenhower Executive Office Building and the State Department, and while I.L. Creations has been touted for its healthful offerings, Choi knows that some of his most popular items include foods dipped in a hot-oil bath: fried chicken, fried catfish and french fries.

Which explains why I.L. Creations’ newest government contract presents such a challenge. The Agriculture Department—the agency tasked with improving public health—made a groundbreaking decision last year when soliciting bids for cafeteria vendors at its headquarters: The USDA would go fryer-less.