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TO:                Superintendents of Schools, Private Schools, Child Care Agencies


FROM:          Susan A. Gendron, Commissioner


DATE:           May 13, 2003


SUBJECT:    UPDATE - Recall:Commodity Frozen Cooked Diced Chicken


The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Under Secretary Bost has determined the disposition of the frozen cooked diced chicken that was recalled on April 21, 2003.


The cooked diced chicken product met all specifications as stipulated by Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), and met all labeling and manufacture requirements as stipulated by Food Safety Inspection Services (FSIS).This recall was not the result of poor processor performance.The recall was strictly precautionary and the processor(s) will not be responsible for collecting any recalled product or for providing any replacement product.


The USDA has ordered the product to be re-donated to State or Federal prisons, with the explicit understanding and acceptance by the receivers of the fact that this frozen cooked diced chicken may contain bone fragments.The State is not required to have a Charitable Institution contract in place with the Prisons for this re-donation to occur.


Please contact the Maine Department of Education Child Nutrition Services office for specific instructions on the disposition of your Districtís frozen cooked diced chicken.You will be provideddirections to transfer or destroy the product based on Child Nutrition Services procedures.Any on-site destruction must have prior approval and then be verified with a signed document returned to the Child Nutrition Services office.Any product transferred must also be verified with a signed document returned to the Child Nutrition Services office.The form required for destruction or transfer of the frozen diced chicken is available from the Child Nutrition Services office.Unfortunately, the form is not in e-format since we are required to provide specific instructions before either action is taken.


State commodity entitlements will be credited for the amount of frozen cooked diced chicken that the State of Maine re-donates or is destroyed.In order to receive entitlement credit, we will need an accounting of all cases of the frozen cooked diced chicken schools re-donated or destroyed.


Please contact Danielle McKay at 207-624-6842 for guidance and questions.


Thank you very much for your cooperation in this matter.††