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Library: Policy

340:105-10-75. Congregate meals planning

Revised 9-15-22

(a) Policy.  The congregate meals project conducts appropriate meal planning for the congregate meals service and consults with persons competent in the fields of nutrition, food service, and the needs of older persons.

(b) Authority.  The authority for this Section is Section 339 of the Older Americans Act of 1965, as Amended and Section 1321.11 of Title 45 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

(c) Procedures.

(1) A registered dietitian (RD) prepares and approves congregate meals project menus and considers the project participants' special needs when doing so.  The RD ensures each meal served contains at least:

(A) one-third of the dietary reference intakes as established by the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences; and

(B) 600 or more calories.  The recommended level is 750 to 850 calories.

(2) Menus are planned on a three or six month basis with a minimum four-week cycle with seasonal changes based on either meal pattern plan portions or weekly average nutritional analysis.  The RD reviews menus for minimum nutrient or meal pattern standards, depending on the chosen menu plan option.  Only one method of meal plan option is accepted per three or six-month period.

(A) Project participants' optimal nutritional status is maintained through menus that have moderate fat, salt, and simple sugar levels and are high in fiber.

(B) The Project Menu Plan – Nutrition Program for the Elderly is submitted quarterly to the Area Agency on Aging (AAA) and is available to the Community Living, Aging and Protective Services  (CAP) RD for review upon request;

(3) The RD signs menus and posts them at the nutrition site.

(4) Menus reflect:

(A) to the maximum extent practicable, special diets to meet the participants' medical needs.  When special diets are provided:

(i) a valid written physician's order is on file for each participant receiving a special diet.  The physician's order indicates whether the participant is restricted to the special diet and the duration of the special diet.  If the participant is consuming a liquid supplement in addition to a meal, the supplement is not reimbursed through the Nutrition Services Incentive Program as a separate meal; and

(ii) special diets are planned and prepared under RD supervision; and

(B) where feasible, religious, ethnic, cultural, or regional dietary requirements or preferences of a major portion of the group of participants at a congregate meals site.

(5) Meals are served per the planned menu unless the RD reviews and approves an appropriate substitution before meals are served.  A complete menu move from one day to another in the same calendar week does not constitute a substitution.  When substitutions are made, the project maintains and submits to CAP at the end of each month the:

(A) substitution date;

(B) original menu item(s);

(C) substituted menu item(s); and

(D) method of RD confirmation.  Confirmation is accepted by phone, in-person signature, or email.

(6) Menus are based on accurate production forecasting that does not include a margin for oversized portions or second helpings.  Staff, participants, and volunteers do not take leftover foods from the kitchen; however, food already on the line or steam table is offered as second helpings to participants on clean trays.  Participants may take the remainder of their meals from the dining site in their own containers;

(7) Servings of milk are included on menus and the serving size is one-half pint equivalent of fortified whole, skim, or low fat milk or buttermilk.  A variety of milks are provided where feasible.

(8) Menus may include, where feasible, provisions to celebrate special occasions for participants, such as birthdays and holidays.

(9) Food items within the meat, vegetable and fruit, bread, and dessert groups are allowed to vary for the same days of the week, from week-to-week, to provide a variety of foods and nutrients.

(d) Cross references.  Refer to Oklahoma Administrative Code 340:105-10-50.1(a)(4) and (7), 340:105-10-51, 340:105-10-68 through 340:105-10-74, 340:105‑10-76 through 340:105-10-80, and 340:105-10-86.

Revised 9-15-22

1.  Menus are developed using the Meal Pattern Plan or Weeking Average Nutritional Analysis in Appendix D-10.

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