Procedures for Handling Processed Product Between Contracted Warehouses and Schools- Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Office for Food and Nutrition Programs

Procedures for Handling Processed Product Between Contracted Warehouses and Schools

To:Child Nutrition Program Directors
From:Kathleen C. Millett, Administrator
School Nutrition, Safety and Climate
Date:October 24, 2003


In accordance with federal regulation 7CFR 250, the Department of Education (DOE) is required to have in place detailed procedures for handling processed food at our warehouses as well as other storage locations. The following are the procedures for the receipt and handling of processed products:

  • The processor manufactures and ships the finished products to the designated commodity warehouse and sends DOE a breakdown of school food authorities that have ordered the product and to whom the finished products belong.
  • The processor invoices recipient agencies for the processing fee related to the service. The invoice is your notice that finished products have been shipped to your warehouse and will soon be available for delivery.
  • The warehouse receives the finished products into DOE storage account and invoices DOE for the storage and handling fees. The Department issues supplemental orders authorizing the release of the finished products to recipient agencies according to processor's breakdown. Supplemental order delivery tickets are printed at the warehouses similar to the way regular school commodity orders are processed. Unless you make other arrangements with the warehouses, the warehouses ship the processed products at the same time the next monthly commodity order is shipped.
  • The Department invoices recipient agency for warehouse storage and handling of processed products. The storage/handling fee per case is $1.39.
  • Each supplemental order issued for processed product may remain in the DOE storage account until the end of the following month for which it was issued. Schools may not split orders. At the end of the following month all processed products must be picked up or transferred to your private storage account. The remaining product must not be left in DOE's account.
  • If a school food authority does not want their entire processed product order shipped, they must give the warehouse explicit instructions on how to handle their shipment. You must provide the product code of the product not forwarded for delivery, instructions on storage and instructions for product shipment. If schools do not provide the warehouse with explicit instructions, the warehouse has been instructed to ship the entire order.
Example: DOE has issued two supplemental orders containing processed product. One order is for 12 cases of chicken nuggets, 9 cases of chicken patties and 8 cases of breaded chicken parts. The second order is for 21 cases of .5 ounce meatballs and 18 cases of shaved steak. The school sends a fax to the warehouse to ship 12 cases of nuggets, 12 cases of meatballs and 6 cases of shaved steak. If instructions have not been provided to reconcile the shipment with the product inventory, the warehouse does not know what to do with the remaining product. The Department has instructed the warehouse to ship the remaining product.
  • DOE reserves the right to direct that any processed product left in our account after the following month for which it was issued defaults to DOE inventory and is available for redistribution to all programs. We will not reimburse the school for any product returned to DOE inventory.
  • Schools must remember that DOE does not deliver product to your school. DOE delivers product to the end of the warehouse dock. Since you have engaged the services of a trucking company or have your own truck, the truck driver is acting on your behalf. The driver represents your district and as your agent signs the delivery ticket(s) and receives delivery of product for you. If you instruct the driver to pick up partial orders, you must provide complete information to the warehouse on the disposition of the remaining order.
  • Once the driver has received the product, you may not return any USDA donated food or processed product to DOE's account at the warehouse. Warehouses have been instructed not to receive it. If you receive damaged product or a product in error, you must call this office at 781-338-6478. We will work with you to determine how the product is to be handled.
  • When calling a warehouse to release processed product from your private storage account, please make that clear to the customer service representative. If they are not informed that it is from your district's private storage account, he/she may assume that you are requesting new product from DOE's account.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding these procedures, please call Darlene Wong-Kam at (781) 338-6478 or email her at

Last Updated: October 24, 2003

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Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
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