While there is considerable anecdotal evidence and some research indicating poor nutritional intake and high levels of food wastage in hospitals, there have been no studies relating these issues to the catering system used. The overall purpose of this study was, therefore, to measure food wastage and nutritional intake in selected hospital catering systems. Data were collected from three types of ward (elderly, medical and surgical) in four hospitals (nine wards), two in London and two in Southern England. Three wards used food cooked mainly in the hospital kitchen, six used cook‐chill and cook‐freeze dishes bought in ready prepared. Five of the wards used a bulk system where food is transported to the ward and plated, in the others, food is plated in the hospital kitchen then transported to the ward. Food sent to the ward, served to patients, and that which remained uneaten or left on the service trolley was weighed for a minimum of 24 hours in each ward; 966 patient‐meal‐days. This data enabled food wastage and nutritional intake to be calculated. Results indicate that food wastage was lower at the breakfast meal, than the midday and evening meal, 23.10 per cent, 39.99 per cent and 42.35 per cent, respectively; female wastage was higher than male, 33.91 per cent and 27.26 per cent, respectively; wastage was higher where food was plated in wards rather than in the kitchen, 57.75 per cent and 35.28 per cent, respectively; and wastage was higher where food was purchased‐in ready prepared, rather than prime cooked in the hospital kitchen. Nutritional intake was calculated for five wards and in all, energy intake was below the recommendations, the highest deficit being 58 per cent. Deficiencies were also noted for other nutrients.
Edwards, J.S.A. and Nash, A.H.M. (1999), "The nutritional implications of food wastage in hospital food service management", Nutrition & Food Science, Vol. 99 No. 2, pp. 89-98. https://doi.org/10.1108/00346659910254394
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