Supporting Community with Retail and Institutional Food Service; Keeping it Safe, Legal and Local

Project Overview

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2002: $42,206.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2003
Matching Non-Federal Funds: $2,688.00
Region: North Central
State: Minnesota
Project Coordinator:
Audrey Arner
Land Stewardship Project


  • Animals: poultry
  • Animal Products: eggs, meat


  • Education and Training: extension
  • Sustainable Communities: partnerships


    This was an initiative to clarify Minnesota requirements for using locally produced foods in retail and institutional foodservice. It was determined that direct sales from farmers/producers can be considered an “approved source” meeting food safety and legal requirements. Three fact sheets were developed with state agencies: 1) Sale of Shell Eggs to Grocery Stores and Restaurants 2) Sale of Meat and Poultry Products 3) Providing Safe Locally-Grown Produce to Commercial Food Establishments and the General Public. These fact sheets are used by Extension in food manager certification training, by farmers, and other agricultural educators to support the use and sale of locally produced foods.

    Project objectives:

    The objectives and short-term performance targets for this one-year grant were:
    1) Provide agencies and food service providers with information and resources that will enable them to overcome barriers to purchasing local foods, and assist them in supporting community food systems with the following outputs:

    a) Development of interpretation and published guidelines for farmers, restaurants and institutions for selling and purchase of locally produced foods within the State of MN, which can be used as a template for other states, recognizing that regulatory requirements vary by state.

    a) Development of guideline materials for use in a food manager certification course and institutional foodservice management class.

    Short-term outcome: extension educators will have the skills to explain the safety and regulation issues of regional food systems to institutions wishing to purchase local foods, to local producers, and the public in general. Extension educators will know other food safety and regulatory resources for referral.

    c) Create partnerships and relationships for development of curriculum guidelines, workshops, and institutional information packets.

    2. Sponsor an educator training workshop and conference: “Supporting Community with Retail and Institutional Foods; Keeping it Safe Legal and Local!” that could be a model for other regions.

    Short-term outcome: a) 50 people, including 20 extension educators, 10 producers, 10 community members, and 10 agricultural professionals, including food safety regulators, will gain awareness of what a regional food system is, why local foods are important to community sustainability, barriers for using local foods, safety and regulatory information, and consumer and institutional attitudes about locally produced foods.

    b) After the workshop, based on knowledge received, they will indicate motivation to share this information when they create local educational programs.

    3. Presentation to Institutional Foodservice Class at University of MN, Crookston on purchasing regionally produced foods.

    4. Informational 1-to-1 presentations to 25 regional foodservice institutions on guidelines for safely and legally using locally produced foods in foodservice

    5. Dissemination of information and materials on websites.

    We expected that the impacts of this one-year grant would continue with the following intermediate- and long-term outcomes:

    Intermediate Outcomes:
    1) 15 educators will apply developed guidelines on locally produced foods in Serv-Safe curriculum.
    2) Educators will become guest speakers for Institutional Food Management course using the curriculum created through this grant.

    Long-Term Outcomes:
    1) Serv-Safe curriculum in Minnesota and other states will address safe and legal ways to purchase and use regionally produced foods.
    2) Institutional foodservice curriculum will incorporate the same.
    3) Extension educators are facilitating local food use within western Minnesota region.
    4) Educators will become resources for local educational programs about food systems.
    5) Extension Educators can be “train the trainers” for extension educators in other Regional Sustainable Development Partnership regions of Minnesota to support regional food systems projects.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.