Assuming proper nutrition is the goal of health care food service, there are numerous factors that must be taken into account to ensure all nutritional needs of care recipients and staff are met. Nutrition plays an essential role in human wellbeing, and food service personnel have a responsibility to provide industrially safe and nutritionally appropriate meals. There are ten points that should be kept in mind when thinking about health care food services.
First off, it is important to remember that government regulations as set through the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) must be followed. It is essential that any food service team have knowledge of current guidelines, and a comprehensive understanding of laws relating to sanitation, storage, health codes, and food borne illnesses.
Second is establishing an appropriate budget. This will depend largely on the specific standards of the facility in terms of the number of meals served and employees employed. It is important to have a budget that is both in keeping with facility goals and appropriate state laws.
Third is menu planning. It is absolutely essential to look at dietary needs of the health care facility. It is important to create a menu that is diverse and caters to any special dietary requirements while being aligned with nutritional standards.
Fourth is to consider food safety. When planning menus, choosing items, and preparing meals, safety should always be the overarching priority. Attention to detail regarding temperature control, storage, packaging, and rotation are all key considerations.
Fifth, always purchase the freshest ingredients available. This approach helps to ensure optimal nutritional benefits from the meal. Examine the supplier’s food product handling procedures to ensure that their standards are met.
Sixth, establish a proper storage system. Utilizing inventory control systems for meal components helps to avoid meal waste and needless cost.
Seventh is to divert resources toward improving your food service. It is important to look at the latest nutrition trends and pairing foods in the most healthful way. Further research can be conducted to look into different options in terms of food sources, such as using locally sourced, organic, or unprocessed produce.
Eighth is to invest in meal delivery technology. This helps to deter food contamination and cross-contamination concerns while also keeping track of what is being consumed.
Ninth is to determine the number of staff needed to prepare, serve, and monitor meal consumption. It is important to have enough on hand to ensure health and nutrition codes are being followed.
Finally, it is essential to develop nutrition education programming for staff. This helps to promote healthful eating habits and reinforces the bigger picture of proper nutrition.
Overall, health care food services involve numerous factors that must all come together to ensure nutritional needs of care recipients and staff are met in an appropriate and healthy way. Proper nutrition can be a key component of human wellbeing, and it is incumbent on food services personnel to ensure that all standards of service and relevant regulations are followed.