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Interview with Superintendent
TITLE E-procurement of nationally accredited produce to ensure the safety and integrity of school meals!
WRITE Justin Song DATE 2014-02-07 HITS 1132
국가인증 농산물.jpeg

On January 23rd, Superintendent Moon Yonglin held the first meeting of the School Meals Committee, where Superintendent Moon presented the members of the committee with their letters of appointment to establish the start of the '2014 School Meals Basic Direction Meeting'.
The essential articles covered in the 'Basic Direction Meeting' were talks regarding reinforced operations of school meals, secure safe quality for all ingredients, provide safe and high quality produce, free school meals for all elementary·middle schools, provide nutrition and dietary guidance, training for those working on-site, and others.
In accordance with the changes and supplements to the preexisting school meal policies, from this year on SMOE plans to firstly: as announced last November, will equalize private contracts to maximum 10 million won, and help bolster school autonomy by allowing the school operations committee, with the seal of the principal, to decide from where they will procure their ingredients for the school meals.
Secondly: to ensure the safest and highest quality produce and ingredients are used in school meals, all schools offering free meals to its students will be encouraged to utilize organic ingredients which can be bought at a 50% discount, or from other GAP accredited suppliers.
Thirdly: To further ensure the safety and quality of ingredients, schools will only utilize produce from suppliers that are either organic, GAP, HACCP, or other governmental accredited. As well, the School Welfare Promotion Center of the SMOE will establish a Food Safety Lab for analysis of ingredients to ensure the integrity of the ingredients further. Lastly, through MoU with universities such as SNU, Dukseong Women's University, etc, foods will be analyzed for their quality through multiple fronts.
Fourthly: Form a Inspection Team consisting of school parents and members of the community for each District to ensure the safety·hygiene of the schools in their respective districts.
Fifth: Reduce the amount of sodium intake, by ensuring that each school proposes a sodium reduction policy.
Sixth: Starting from 2014, all public elementary and middle school students will have access to a free meal, and each school will be provided 3,110 won for each elementary student and 4,100 won for each middle school student.
Seventh: Increase the number of cooking staff available to each schools. (Elementary: 175 student to staff → 188 student to staff / Middle: 165 student to staff → 155 student to staff)
Eighth: Create a more consumer-oriented school meal by establishing the safety inspection team for each district, encouraging all parents, NGO's, as well as private citizens to partake in the inspection team at least once per year, and ensuring inspections are carried out once per week. Also, utilize the school's homepage to provide a 'School Meals Discussion Board' where students and parents can state their opinions and express their concerns.
Ninth: The most important components of a school meal to ensure consumer satisfaction are hygiene, taste, and quality and to that end, SMOE will strengthen the sanitation·safety·service training of those working on-site at the schools. To help foster healthy youth, students will be provided with diet·nutrition education, as well as character education, environmental education, improved eating habits, nutrition counseling, proper disposal and recycling, as well as learning about traditional korean cuisine culture.
The SMOE looks forward to the changes being made regarding school meals, and will work together with parents and local communities to provide its students with high quality, safe, and tasty school meals so that we may promote healthy and happy students.

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