Journal List > Korean J Community Nutr > v.21(3) > 1038541

Yoon and Lee: Food Allergy Management Status by Dietitians and Nutrition Teachers in Elementary and Middle Schools in Incheon



Food allergy appears to be increasing in prevalence and can potentially result in significant damaging impact on children's mental and physical health. This study investigated how dietitians/nutrition teachers in Incheon, where a fatal fool allergy incidence occurred, manage food allergy issues in school lunch systems.


A survey with a pre-tested questionnaire was conducted with 358 dietitians/nutrition teachers in Incheon area. The final analytical sample included questionnaire data from 208 study participants (58.1%). Statistical analyses used SPSS ver 19.0.


A total of 99.5% respondents reported having received food allergy education. The respondents showed a correction rate of the food allergy test slightly higher than 70%, where nutrition teachers and respondents working in elementary schools had correction rates higher than dietitians and those working in middle schools (p<0.05). All respondents reported regular monitoring to identify students with food allergy and making notification of allergy-prone foods on menu in their school. More nutrition teachers provided "elimination meals" (57.6%) or "replacement meals" (37.0%) than dietitians (43.1%, 19.8%, respectively) (p<0.05). Elimination and replacement meals were provided more in elementary schools than in middle schools (p<0.05). Although counseling students with food allergy on nutrition was done by 64.9% of respondents, the areas of counseling were limited to basics of food allergy and how to use the notification system on menu. To prepare for handling food allergy events effectively, networks with regional clinics or hospitals (34.1%), hotline with parents (87.4%), and keeping an Epi-Pen ready (46.7% elementary school) were established. Only 34.1% of respondents knew how to use Epi-Pens.


Dietitians and nutrition teachers in Incheon widely adapted food allergy management methods. It appears that education/training on food allergy for dietitians/nutrition teachers can move on from teaching basics of food allergy to providing applicable food allergy management methods at school system.

Figures and Tables

Table 1

Characteristics of the study participants


1) N (%)

Table 2

Food allergy education status1)


1) No statistical significance were found by job title or school.

2) N (%)

Table 3

Food allergy knowledge status by job title and school


1) N.T.: Nutrition Teacher

2) N (%)

3) D.K.: Do not know

4) Mean (SD)

**: p<0.01 significantly differ by school

: p<0.05 significantly differ by job title

Table 4

Food allergy management status by job title and school


1) N.T.: Nutrition Teacher

2) N (%)

3) Proportion among schools with regular monitoring program(s)

4) Multiple choice allowed

*: p<0.05 significantly differ by school

: p < 0.05, ††: p<0.01 significantly differ by job title

Table 5

Nutrition counseling for students with food allergy


1) N.T.: Nutrition Teacher

2) N (%)

3) Proportion among respondents with individual counseling program (s)

4) Multiple choice allowed

5) Proportion among respondents without individual counseling program (s)

*: p<0.05 significantly differ by school

††: p<0.01 significantly differ by job title

Table 6

Emergency response system for food allergy outbreak at school


1) N.T.: Nutrition Teacher

2) N (%)

**: p<0.01, ***: p<0.001 significantly differ by school

††: p<0.01, †††: p<0.001 significantly differ by job title


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Soo-Kyung Lee

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