Scheduling facility review visits can be tough for sponsors! This blog post will break down the requirements and help you understand the rules.
7 CFR 226.16(d)(4) has the information about the frequency and type of facility reviews. When you sign up to sponsor a new site, you must make a visit within the first four weeks that they are operating the CACFP.
For continuing sites, sponsors have two choices:
- Visit every facility three times a year.
- At least two of the three reviews must be unannounced visits (i.e. they don’t know you’re coming!). For more information about what constitutes “unannounced” and how to vary the timing of reviews to make sure they aren’t predictable, see USDA memo CACFP 16-2011.
- At least one unannounced review must include observation of a meal.
- Not more than six months may elapse between reviews.
- Use an averaging method to determine how often to do a review. If you use the averaging method, there are a couple of things to consider:
- There’s no getting around doing an average of 3 visits a year across all your sites. The averaging method just lets you concentrate your resources on visits to sites that need additional training and oversite.
- No facility can go nine months without a visit.
- Every site has to get at least two visits each year (one unannounced and the other either unannounced or announced). Sponsors can forgo the third review only if there are no serious deficiencies.
The California Department of Education has some great sample tools available related to the averaging method, including:
- Sample Profile Chart: used to determine which facilities receive additional visits and which can forgo their third visit.
- Sample Review Plan: a grid by month that shows the review schedule.
How My Food Program Can Help!
My Food Program offers solutions to make review visits easier. We have a brand new electronic visit system. We’ve replaced our My Food Program for Reviewers app with a new, easy, user-friendly system right within our software. You can now access electronic visits right from the Visits button on your dashboard. Learn more about this feature here.