Production Record Books





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Production Records are required in federal statutes to document that the meals that received federal reimbursement dollars had enough and the right food to meet federal requirements.   (NSLP: 7 CFR 210.10(a)(3) and SBP: 7 CFR 220.8(a)(3))  They are also a useful tool in the kitchen.

School food service must maintain DAILY production records for each school and each meal service.  A production record is a working tool that outlines the type and quantity of foods that need to be available for the meal service.

School food service is not required to use any one form for production records, such as the North Dakota production record template for lunch or breakfast.  You may revise our template to fit your needs, find another state’s template, or design your own that works in your kitchen if the required information is included on each day’s record.  Make the tool work for you!

The required information for a production record includes:

  • Name of the site
  • Date of the meal
  • Meal type (breakfast or lunch)
  • Menu for the meal – this includes
    • ALL planned items for all meal choices that must have all food components,
    • the types of milk,
    • leftovers that will be served in the meal
    • other food that is not creditable such as condiments
  • Recipe name and number OR Product name and code (i.e., Bake Boy hamburger bun #12345) for homemade entrees or commercially prepared meat and grain, homemade salads, and any other item that will be credited to the meal components.
  • Planned serving size for each of the menued items that will be credited to meal components
  • Planned number of students and adults for whom food is being prepared.
  • Substitutions made to the original menu OR for special dietary needs.

The above information could all be completed before meal service begins.  Required information that will be completed on the production record after meal service is:

  • Total amount or quantity of food prepared for each food item (pounds, cans, pieces, servings)
  • Amount of leftover food for each food item
  • Number of reimbursable meals served to students
  • Number of non-reimbursable meals served to adults or as second meals

Other notes can be included on a production record, such as the temperature log for hot and cold items, or notes about the service, such as what to order, comments about likes and dislikes, etc.  Add whatever information you need to make this tool work for you.

Production records can be set up to capture each day's meal service on one piece of paper, including breakfast, lunch, fresh fruit and vegetables, and after school snacks.  They may also be separated, such as the vegetable bar production record, so the responsibility of documenting the different areas required can be divided among staff members. In this instance, the staff member filling out the information should initial the production record to ‘certify the information is correct’.

Production records for each meal must be kept for three years plus the current school year unless an audit of these past meal services is being conducted.


Calculating the meat, grain, vegetable, and fruit amount in homemade recipes: 
1.  USDA Food Buying Guide tool – Recipe Analysis Workbook.

The USDA Food Buying guide requires a login username and password to be set up before you access it.  If you order DOD Fresh in FFAVORS, the same login will work.  Otherwise, request the log-in the first time you click into the Food Buying Guide.

  • The Recipe Analysis Workbook (RAW) will be under the ‘Tool’ tab.  There is a video tutorial on how to use RAW under the ‘Help’ tab.  OR call our office, and we will walk you through RAW with a few of your recipes.

  • The USDA Food Buying Guide can also help calculate certain food items that have a ‘standard of identity,’ including purchased Beef stews, Chicken Chili, and Bologna.  For these items, you must ensure that the label states the name exactly and the ingredient list does not include cereals, byproducts, or extenders.

2.  The Coop Food Bid has this information: 
  • If you belong to the Cooperative Purchasing Connection’s North Dakota State School Food Service Coop bid, please request a copy of the information for each bid item.  This will include the nutrition facts label, the child nutrition label, allergens, and possibly the Buy American statement.

  • Contact Lori Mittelstadt for this file at

3.  USDA Food items that you are receiving as commodities (there are two places to look)
4.  For calculating grain items
  • Use the Exhibit A chart.  (located on pages 24 and 25 of the Lunch Production Record book)
5.  Ask your food distributor for this documentation.
  • Contact the product manufacturer or switch to a different brand that has the information.

For ALL other items that are commercially prepared where you do not have a recipe to know how much of each ingredient was put into the item, you must have a child nutrition label from the box that the food came in OR a product formulation statement from the manufacturer who made the brand item.

  • Example: The USDSA Commodity Processed meatballs have a child nutrition label on the side of the box that says: Five 0.50 oz. Fully Cooked Beef Meatballs Provide 2.00 oz. Equivalent Meat For Child Nutrition Meal Pattern Requirements. (Use of this Logo and Statement Authorized by the Food and Nutrition Service, USDA 08-14.)

This documentation will clearly tell you how much must be served to credit a specific amount of meat, grain, fruit, and/or vegetable to your meal pattern. Your food distributor should have this information for you before you order the item, or you can contact the company directly for this information.  If you do not have this information available, the food item does not credit to your meal pattern, and therefore, you may not be serving a reimbursable meal. 

Many more resources are available to you on what foods credit and what foods do not, common food crediting, and more are available behind the ‘Meal Pattern’ tab in the front of the Lunch Production book.  Please become familiar with these resources. 

Please contact the office if you have any questions about filling out the daily production records at  We can answer quick questions immediately or set up a one-on-one meeting to dive deeper into the production record.  The information on the production record is required for a claim to be submitted for meals served in each school meal program. 


As mentioned previously, school food service can use any production record that works for their kitchen, including another state’s.  The following are links to a few other states' production record resources that are particularly good.