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Meal Pattern Minute: Product Formulation Statements

June 9, 2023

You have purchased a processed product that does not have a Child Nutrition Label but you still need to know how much to serve and credit the food components in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) meal pattern. Will the Nutrition Fact Label and ingredient list be enough information to help you know how much to serve or will you need a Product Formulation Statement (PFS)? 

 Tune in to this Meal Pattern Minute as Isabel Ramos-Lebron, MS, RDN, LD, discusses when a PFS is needed for foods to be credited towards the CACFP meal pattern.  

 Want to learn more about PFS? Below is a description of what a PFS is and a couple resources have been provided for you to reference as you request a PFS from a manufacturer. 


PFS Defined 

A manufacturer’s product formulation statement (PFS) is a signed certified document that provides a way for a manufacturer to demonstrate how a product may contribute to the meal pattern requirements of the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA), Child Nutrition (CN) programs. A PFS is typically provided for processed products that do not have a CN Label. A CN Labeled product provides an assurance that the food provides the stated contributions toward CN meal pattern requirements. Program operators may request a signed manufacturer’s PFS when purchasing a processed product without a CN Label. USDA does not approve a manufacturer’s PFS. Program operators are ultimately responsible for ensuring menu items meet meal pattern requirements; therefore, program operators should review and verify the crediting statement on a manufacturer’s PFS before purchasing the product. 

Since it is the responsibility of the CACFP provider to ensure the purchased processed product meets the CACFP meal pattern requirements, USDA developed a guide to help make sure you have the proper and accurate documentation needed to be kept on file. Review “USDA Child Nutrition Programs: TIPS for Evaluating a Manufacturer’s Product Formulation Statement” for all these details.


Free Webinar 

Join the free webinar presented by Nutrition and Technical Assistance Branch USDA Food and Nutrition Service, “CN Labels & Product Formulation Statements: Hands-On Practice.

When should you request a CN Label or PFS? Is the crediting documentation for your product acceptable? Get clarity on common issues related to inaccurate or misleading product documentation. USDA will provide guidance on accepting documentation for meal pattern requirements and share sample Product Formulation Statements and CN Labels. Learn how to assess crediting documentation using sample CN Labels and Product Formulation Statements. 


Skip the need to request a PFS by making a meal or snack food component from scratch! Try one of these recipes below. 

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