The USDA Foods Database is available for state agencies and school districts to access up-to-date, vendor-specific nutrition, allergen and ingredient information for direct delivered USDA Foods for child nutrition programs offered on the USDA Foods Available List.
Providing this information to National School Lunch Program participants is a requirement in the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act and is currently fulfilled through USDA Foods product information sheets. FNS is leveraging an existing partnership with the Agricultural Research Service Branded Foods Database to use the GS1 Global Data Synchronization Network TM (GS1 GDSN) to collect vendor-specific product information.
Each USDA Foods product can be supplied by numerous USDA approved vendors, as long as their product meets the requirements outlined in the USDA specification. The USDA Foods Database captures product information from all vendors that supply a particular product. This information can be used by states and school districts to manage menu planning, inform ordering decisions, meet USDA meal pattern requirements and nutrition standards, and provide safe meals for students with food allergies and other special dietary needs. For example, before ordering deli turkey breast from the USDA, a school district may want to know whether it is possible for the product to contain wheat. If a search of the database indicates that none of USDA’s suppliers report that the product contains wheat, the school district can be assured that anytime they receive deli turkey breast, it will be free of wheat.
Access the USDA Foods Database
The USDA Foods Database is a non-editable Excel spreadsheet that allows users to search for USDA Foods by their 6-digit unique material code. The spreadsheet must be downloaded and saved in order to use. Use the instructions below to learn how to navigate the USDA Foods Database.
USDA Foods vendors are not required to report product information until 20 days after they are awarded a contract for applicable products. Vendors may voluntarily report product information prior to being awarded but are not required. Because contracts are awarded throughout the year, certain products and/or vendors may not be found in the USDA Foods Database at this time. Check out the list of required products for the USDA Food Database below to learn which USDA Foods products are currently found in the USDA Foods Database.
- USDA Foods Database - September 2023 (You must download and save file to use it)
- Release Notes (09/07/23)
- Instructions on How to Use the USDA Foods Database
- List of Required Products for the USDA Foods Database (09/07/23)
Key Resources for State Agencies and School Districts
- Frequently Asked Questions
- USDA Foods Database Special Bulletin
- Navigating the USDA Foods Database Webinar