ACT Nutrition Support Service » Services » Schools » Canteen menu assessment FAQs

Canteen menu assessment FAQs

ACT Nutrition Support Service » Services » Schools » Canteen menu assessment FAQs

Canteen menu assessment FAQs

What is the purpose of the canteen menu assessment?

The canteen menu assessment identifies what changes (if any) are needed to ensure the menu complies with the ACT Public School Food and Drink Policy. Based on the findings of the assessment, a report is produced that provides feedback on areas that already meet the policy requirements and recommendations on how to improve the menu in line with the policy. 


What is the difference between a site visit and a desktop menu assessment?

A site visit menu assessment is a face to face visit from a dietitian to the school. ACT Nutrition Support Service will contact the canteen manager to arrange a day and time for the site visit. Information is collected at the site visit for the assessment and report. The site visit should not take longer than an hour. 

A desktop menu assessment is when an ACT Nutrition Support Service dietitian will contact the canteen manager and ask for information for the assessment and report to be sent through. 

Q: Why do some schools receive site visit assessments, whilst others recieve desktop menu assessments?

The annual canteen menu assessment process is moving towards a more sustainable model. This involves transitioning towards more cost-effective methods in obtaining canteen data. In 2021, around half of ACT Public School canteens will receive a site visit.

Q: Why would a school be selected for a site visit?

The ACT Nutrition Support Service worked collaboratively with ACT Health Directorate and Education Directorate to decide which school canteens would benefit most from receiving a site visit in 2021. Factors contributing to this decision include;

  • New school and/or canteen
  • Recent staff changes
  • Additional support needed to fulfill policy requirements

All Early Childhood Schools will receive a site visit in 2021 due to complex menus.

Q: Can a school choose to recieve a desktop menu assessment instead of a site visit?

The ACT Nutrition Support Service worked collaboratively with ACT Health Directorate and Education Directorate to identify school canteens receiving a 2021 site visit, which has been finalised. Site visits are a great opportunity to learn and discuss canteen menu requirements with our friendly staff.

Q: If a school needs more support, is a site visit possible?

Please get in contact with Brittany Pennay from ACT Nutrition Support Service bpennay@act.nutritionaustralia.org who will discuss the circumstances and determine possibility of receiving a site visit.

 

What information will the dietitian need?

The dietitian collects the following data:

  • the menu 
  • recipes
  • brand names and product details of packaged products

 

What happens after the assessment?

The dietitian assesses all food and drink items, and classifies them as GREEN, AMBER or RED. Once this is complete, a report is compiled and emailed to the Canteen Manager, and a copy to to the school's Principal and the Education Directorate.

 

What if the menu does not meet policy requirements?

All ACT Public School canteens must meet policy requirements of majority GREEN menu items and no RED menu items.

If the canteen menu does not meet these requirement, the Canteen Manager is required to complete an action plan to demonstrate what changes will be made to the menu to meet the policy. There will be recommendations throughout the report to assist the Canteen Manager to complete this action plan. This action plan is then submitted to the Education Directorate and the Education Directorate will follow-up as required. 

Will the school recieve a new report following the action plan process?

The ACTNSS can provide advice on new or replaced menu items, however a new report will not be provided until the next annual assessment.

Why doesn't the report recommend brand names?

ACTNSS and ACT Government are not able to endorse branded products, which is why brand names are not specified when recommending suitable alternatives in the report.