The purposes of the study were to examine food purchasing management practices and to assess dietitians' awareness on food quality standards, use of food purchasing guidelines(food quality guidelines, supplier selection criteria), and organizational collaboration related to purchasing at school food service. A total of 400 dietitians working at elementary schools in Kyunggi Province were surveyed and 247 responses were returned. Excluding responses with significant missing data, 240 responses(60%) were used for data analysis. Compared to the previous reports, competitive bidding and shorter contract periods were preferred for purchasing food supplies. A dietitian, school staff, and food service staff participated in receiving and inspection together at 58.4% of the schools. An average score of the dietitians' awareness on the food quality standards was 3.28 based on a 5-point scale(1:strongly disagree, 5:strongly agree). Their awareness scores for the quality standards related to the genetically modified organism foods, organic foods, and pesticide residues were the lowest. The awareness scores increased significantly with their age(p<.001). In general, the food purchasing guidelines were used well at the schools ; the usage levels of the food quality guidelines and supplier selection criteria were significantly different by length of operation(p<.05) and dietitians' age(p<.05), respectively. The dietitians' perception score of the organizational collaboration related to purchasing was rated 3.46 and differed significantly by dietitians' educational background(p<.05). For improving food procurement management, standardized food quality and purchasing criteria need to be developed. As the demands on high quality food supplies increase for school food service, the dietitians should improve their knowledges on the food quality standards and implement effective and creative purchasing methods.
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