8/18/11

Changes in hospital food: 1984 vs 2011

A very interesting piece on changes in hospital food at the Sarborough Hospital came out a few days ago on the hospital's blog site. There has been a huge change in the food in recent decades.

The blog indicates that the General site of the Hospital had in 1984:
  • 770 beds
  • 2 complete, fully operational conventional kitchens
  • a 16 day selective menu (patients made choices from multiple options)
  • hundreds of complex therapeutic diets
  • procurement of fresh and local meat/poultry and produce
  • hundreds of recipes produced in house from scratch by:
  • 15 cooks, 2 bakers, 3 salad and sandwich makers, all skilled, passionate and dedicated!
  • and a GREAT reputation for food!
Now the General site has:
  • 325 beds
  • 1 complete NOT fully operational conventional kitchen
  • a 7 day non-selective menu (that’s right, NO choice)
  • hundreds of complex therapeutic diets
  • procurement of 80% of all food supplies from a large multi-national food distribution company (not sure where the food is coming from)
  • approximately 100 recipes produced in house by:
  • 1 full time and 2 part time cooks, 1 full time and 2 part time cold production staff, all skilled, passionate and dedicated!
  • an AVERAGE reputation for food 
These changes are probably pretty typical for a large hospital in Ontario: but they are definitely not for the best.

 But thankfully, the hospital leadership "is NOT outsourcing our service to a large uncaring multinational company. Also it is NOT forcing a change from conventional production to cold plating and rethermalization, which happened in many other hospitals."

Even better, the hospital is in the process of trying to cook more food from scratch.

This is an exciting development and I, for one, am looking forward to following developments at this hospital. Hopefully, they will spark a trend to fresh, local food that other hospitals will follow.

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