Turkey Taco Filling Reaps Success in National School Lunch Program
WASHINGTON, D.C., April 1, 2004 -
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Since U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) introduced frozen cooked turkey taco filling to the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) in 2002, the product has been a great success. In year one, USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) purchased 2.184 million pounds of turkey taco filling for $2.369 million. In the second year, the amount increased to 3.276 million pounds for $2.702 million. This year through April, 4.260 million pounds have been purchased for $4.280 million.
"The turkey taco filling program is growing as participating schools order larger amounts and other schools begin placing orders," comments Brie Wilson, NTF's manager of government affairs. "There are currently 21 state school foodservice programs participating in purchasing this turkey product."
The product was developed to offer additional healthful and versatile options to students participating in school lunch programs. It has a mild flavor profile and more meaty texture than other taco fillings. Besides its intended use as a taco filling, as it can be a base for chili and sloppy Joes or an ingredient in lasagnas and casseroles.
Although the product is currently manufactured to meet the specifications of AMS for the NSLP, its manufacturers agree that is has a role beyond school lunch as an option in restaurants and cafeterias.
"The opportunity is there to customize the filling for different operations and other flavor profiles," notes Sherrie Rosenblatt, senior director of marketing and communications for NTF. "A chain restaurant could have its own formulation and expand its menu with a healthful offering."
The USDA requirements state that frozen cooked turkey taco filling must be produced from ground turkey (ready-to-cook non-basted, young turkeys or turkey products and turkey skin) and spices or seasonings. AMS specifies that between 4 percent and 6 percent of the total formulation of the filling consist of spices, flavorings and other ingredients. The filling must be packaged in 3- or 5-pound packages to a net weight of 30 lbs in each fiberboard-shipping container.
NSLP, established in 1940 by President Harry Truman, is a federally assisted meal program operating in more than 96,000 public and nonprofit private schools and residential childcare institutions. It provides nutritionally balanced, low-cost or free lunches to nearly 27 million children each day.
The National Turkey Federation (NTF) is the national advocate for all segments of the turkey industry, providing services and conducting activities that increase demand for its members' products by protecting and enhancing their ability to profitably provide wholesome, high-quality, nutritious products. Its award-winning web site, www.eatturkey.com, offers consumers, food professionals and the media an extensive library of information including healthy eating and restaurant trends, turkey cuts and purchasing tips, turkey nutrition and cooking techniques, and turkey facts and trivia. Additionally, the site presents a searchable database of more than 1,500 recipes, offers a recipe E-mail program and provides special seasonal and holiday ideas. The National Turkey Federation is headquartered in Washington, D.C.
|© 2010 National Turkey Federation
1225 New York Avenue NW • Suite 400 • Washington, D.C. 20005
EMAIL: email@example.com • TEL: 202.898.0100 • FAX: 202.898.0203