K-12 Documentation

On this page you will find Child Nutrition (CN) Labels, Product Formulation Statements (PFS) and Buy American Letters.

According to the USDA, schools are required to keep documentation on file for two types of items:

Child Nutrition (CN) labeled items

  • Items that may contain a CN label include:

    • Main dishes that contribute to the meat/meat alternate component of the meal pattern

Processed items that contribute to the meal pattern but are not CN labeled

  • A Product Formulation Statement (PFS) is required for these items

  • PFS: signed statement on manufacturer’s letterhead, demonstrates how the product contributes to meal pattern requirements

The USDA encourages schools to obtain documentation directly off the package whenever possible. In the event that you are unable to obtain adequate information from the packaging, Gordon Food Service has collected CN labels and PFSs directly from the manufacturer for your reference.

According to the USDA

The CN Label is the gold standard for verifying the crediting of menu items and provides a warranty against audit claims when the product is used according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Acceptable and valid documentation for the CN Label includes:

1) the original CN Label from the product carton; or

2) a photocopy of the CN Label shown attached to the original product carton; or

3) a photograph of the CN Label shown attached to the original product carton. (CN Labels that are photocopied or photographed must be visible and legible.)

Documenting Watermarked CN Label Requirements

If the original CN Label from the product carton, or the valid photograph or photocopy of the original CN label is not available, program operators may provide the Bill of Lading (invoice) containing the product name and:

1) a hard copy of the CN Label copied with a watermark displaying the product name and CN number provided by the vendor; or 2) an electronic copy of the CN Label with a watermark displaying the product name and CN number provided by the vendor.

Below are documentation files for K-12 items stocked at Gordon Food Service. They're sorted by reorder number. You can also view the entire list directly in a new tab.

CN Labeled Items by Item Code:

In order to quickly locate the item you are looking for use CTRL+F on your keyboard. A small box will appear for you on the page to type in the GFS item code. This will review the list below and locate that specific item for you.

We've also created a short video with step-by-step instructions on how to find your nutritional information on this new site.

Please Note: The Nutrition Resource Center requests documentation for all items a vendor lists as having a Child Nutrition or Product Formulation Statement as part of our Clear Choice program. If you do not see documentation, we would recommend reaching out to the vendor directly. Manufacturer contact information can be found below. Vendor item codes can be found in Online Ordering on the More tab. If you need assistance determining the manufacturer, please reach out to nrc@gfs.com

Click Here for Manufacturer contact information

According to USDA regulations, documentation is not required for:

  • Items that do not contribute to the meal pattern
    Examples: salad dressing, cream cheese, bacon, pudding

  • Unprocessed items that have a standard meal pattern contribution
    Examples: fruits, vegetables, rice, bread, milk, cheese, whole cuts of meat

For these items, reference the USDA Food Buying Guide:


Information from this site should be used as reference only, not for documenting federal meal requirements. Please be aware that manufacturers may change formulations; the actual food label on the product will be the most current information and should always be referenced first. Gordon Food Service will update this page on an annual basis. If you have any questions regarding this information, please contact the Nutrition Resource Center at 1-800-968-4426 or nrc@gfs.com.

Gordon Food Service has collected specification sheets for CN labeled products directly from the third-party product manufacturer and/or supplier. The specification sheets were not in any way created or verified by GFS. The food label on the product should always be referenced for CN information.

The information is provided as a courtesy and for informational purposes only, and should not be relied upon for documenting federal meal requirements. GFS in no way guarantees the accuracy or completeness of this information and NO WARRANTIES ARE MADE OR IMPLIED; ALL IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE EXPRESSLY EXCLUDED.

Buy American

School Food Authorities are required to purchase, to the maximum extent practicable, domestic commodities or products. Domestic commodity or products are defined as a farm commodity produced in the United States or its territories, and a food product processed in the United States using substantial farm commodities produced in the United States. Substantial means that over 51% of the final processed food product, by weight or volume, consists of farm commodities that were domestically grown.

The two exceptions to the Buy American provision which allow for the purchase of foods that do not meet the domestic standard include:

  • The product is not produced or manufactured in the U.S. in sufficient and reasonably available quantities of a satisfactory quality.

  • Competitive bids reveal the costs of a U.S. product are significantly higher than the non-domestic product.

Buy American Letters by Vendor

The Buy American letters and exception letters are organized by vendors. In order to quickly locate the item you are looking for use the CTRL+F on your keyboard.

Some vendors have selected to organize their letters by their vendor item number. If you do not know who the vendor is or the vendor item number, please refer to the Master List of Letters on File below, which contains the GFS item code.

Buy American Provision fact sheet