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Informer: BESE regulates food sales during school day

Last Modified: Monday, August 05, 2013 10:31 AM

By Andrew Perzo / American Press

Why are they closing all the cafeterias in Moss Bluff and surrounding schools and selling food in the libraries, which I think is illegal?

The cafeterias in Moss Bluff schools aren’t being closed, said Patricia Hosemann, food service director for the Calcasieu Parish school system.

But she said breakfast and lunch for students at Sam Houston High School will be prepared at Moss Bluff Elementary and be taken up the road to the high school’s cafeteria.

“The average high school participation at Sam Houston was less than 250 meals per day, and it is inefficient to staff, equip and maintain commercial kitchens serving less than 300 meals per day,” she wrote in an email. “All food service employees from Sam Houston will be retained by CPSB.”

The state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education regulates the selling of food on school campuses during the school day — that is, from a half hour before classes start to a half hour after they cease.

Hosemann said the principal at Sam Houston High has since been notified that the food sales at the school violated the rules.

Under BESE’s regulations, foods sold outside of the lunch and breakfast programs — i.e., “competitive foods” — at elementary and middle schools during the school day must meet state nutritional and content standards.

In high schools, at least half of the competitive foods sold must meet the standards, which define “healthy snacks.”

To be considered a healthy snack, foods must have 150 or fewer calories per serving; the proportion of calories from fat can’t exceed 35 percent; and the amount of sugar per serving can’t exceed 30 grams, “except unsweetened or uncoated seeds or nuts.”

Healthy snacks can be sold in elementary schools “after the end of the last lunch period,” according to BESE’s regulations. They can be sold in high schools “beginning the last 10 minutes of each lunch period.”

Some foods that meet the standards, according to the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, designated in state law as the official keeper of the healthy-snacks list:

Medium-size apples, bananas, oranges, pears and tangerines.

Del Monte Lite Mixed Fruit in Pull Top Cans — 4-ounce serving.

General Mills Fruit Roll Ups — one roll.

Great Value Fruit Smiles — one pouch.

Blue Bell Creameries Chocolate Fudge Bar Low Fat — 3-fluid-ounce serving.

Smoothie King - Smarti Tarti — 10-ounce serving.

Yoplait GoGurt Portable Yogurt – Strawberry Splash and Berry Blue Blast — one tube.

Frito Lay Baked Cheetos Crunchy — 0.875-ounce serving.


Line at Pryce, Lyons part of rehab project

There is a drainage pipe running down the drain at the intersection of Lyons and Pryce streets. It runs all the way up to Railroad Avenue, and it’s been there for over six months. What is that pipe for?

The pipe was a wastewater bypass line being used as part of a trunkline rehabilitation project, which was supposed to be finished by the weekend, said Sheri Watkins of the city Public Works Department.


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The Informer answers questions from readers each Sunday, Monday and Wednesday. It is researched and written by Andrew Perzo, an American Press staff writer. To ask a question, call 494-4098, press 5 and leave voice mail, or email

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