Take a bite out of bad hospital food

Bad hospital food is no joke these days with renewed emphasis on patient safety and satisfaction scores. Hospitals around the world are paying more attention to what goes on patients' plates during inpatient stays by offering local or steamed foods when they feel like eating to boost nutrition and patient satisfaction.

In the U.K., inspectors from the Care Quality Commission recently criticized John Radcliffe Hospital for its food being too "moist" and for patients not washing their hands before eating, according to a BBC article yesterday.

In Canada, the Vancouver Island Health Authority launched a new food delivery model, shifting away from the traditional food preparation method of bulk cooking in which foods are heated on trollies and often times sit ideal for a while before being served to patients. Now, the new process involves "Steamplicity," which as the name implies, steams food for better-looking and better-tasting food, according to a Times Colonist article yesterday.

In the States, the Culinary Institute of America in April announced the first-ever course on cooking for healthcare patients.

In addition, Maryland state officials during this week's "Buy Local Challenge" prompted Anne Arundel Medical Center in Parole and Baltimore Washington Medical Center in Glen Burnie to buy from local farmers. There are currently 36 healthcare facilities in Maryland that buy local foods, at an estimated spending of $15,000 last year, according to a Capital Gazette article.

At both Advocate BroMenn Medical Center and OSF St. Joseph Medical Center in Illinois, patients receive cooked-to-order food with a variety of foods to choose from, similar to hotels' room-service approach, notes a Pantagraph article.

"As we focus on satisfaction and improving the patient's stay, food is one thing we can improve," said Joyce Campbell, Advocate BroMenn's assistant food service director, in the article.

For more information:
- read the BBC article
- view the Times Colonist article
- read the Capital Gazette article
- read the Pantagraph piece

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