GDSN and Standardized Menu Planning Explained

The Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN) is an interconnected network of inter-operable data pools and a global registry that enables k-12 food manufacturers to standardize a food products identification by using each item’s Global Trade Item Number (“GTIN”).  Similar to a UPC code that many are familiar with in the retail space, a GTIN is a standardized identifier allowing manufacturers to directly provide up-to-date nutritional and meal pattern credit information, product images and descriptions for each product. 

inTEAM has integrated into the GDSN datapool of K-12 product information. Users will be able to search for and filter items by different criteria and then quickly import the required nutritional and meal pattern credit information individually for each product directly from manufacturers to correctly evaluate a menu for compliance. This greatly simplifies the effort to build recipes and menus.

For items such as produce, dairy, and spices and some bakery items that have a common standard of identity (nutrition and creditable information doesn't change depending on what brand of an item you purchase), CNCentral and GDSN Connect are also connected to a Generic Item Database. The Generic Item Database allows you to pull items into your item database with all associated attributes without having to enter nutritional and meal pattern information manually. You can discern which items in your item database come from which database (GDSN and Generic) by viewing the Source column.   


All items, regardless of whether they came from GDSN or the Generic database will need to have Vendor and Purchase Unit information configured for the items. This can be done using the Vendor import function or entered manually by item.

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