Did you know?

Fall 2014

A lot of research, preparation and care goes into each and every meal served by LHSC Food Services to ensure patients receive choices that meet their unique nutritional needs, tastes, preferences and allergy requirements.

The number of nutritional considerations, the volume of meals and the multitude of personalized menu options required for patients is no small order. But LHSC’s Food Services is up to the task.

LHSC’s Food Services by the numbers:

•  29,000 square feet in size
• 14,868 servings of milk are served per week
• 3,100 sandwiches are made each week by Food Delivery Service staff
• 2,400 meal trays are produced by Trayline Assembly Service (TAS) staff each day for patients at two sites (University Hospital and Victoria Hospital)
• 1,800 containers of juice are served each day
• 1,500 meal orders are process by clerks each day
• 1,300 bulk orders (food supplies) placed each month to 80 different patient care units
• 2,000 cups of hot beverages are poured each day
• 319 muffins are served each day
• 99 different diet orders available each day
• 82 allergen-restricted diets available each day
• 60 Food Service staff members (including dietary workers, receivers, clerks, nutrition assistants) are involved  in preparing meals for 800+ patients each day
• 7 days- the menu is a set seven-day cycle, and different options are offered on each day

How are menu items chosen?

• Well-balanced meals and snacks have been chosen as recommended in  Canada’s Food Guide
• Menus for patients with restrictions and special requirements are developed to ensure that patients meet their nutritional needs in the context of their medical condition
• Menus offer a variety of foods including special diet (cardiac, renal etc.), texture modified (pureed, thickened etc.) and preference (Kosher, vegetarian etc.)
• Patient satisfaction surveys and taste panels are regularly conducted to obtain feedback 
• The items offered are carefully selected from taste trials; new items are constantly being tested
• LHSC staff in specific service target groups are invited to taste test items for patients, including special diet and modified textured foods. This allows staff to lend their first-hand experience and suggestions to patients who need assistance making menu choices. 
• Waste audits are performed frequently to determine what patients are eating and what is left over

From menu to mealtime – how food orders work

When the patient is admitted, all allergies, diet restrictions and preferences are noted by clinical staff in the electronic patient record. The Diet Office, which is a communication hub between patient care providers and Food Services, views the patient record in real-time and prints individualized menus based on each patient’s unique diet requirements.

The patient receives the menu and chooses all their meals for the next day. Patients who are unable to make selections for themselves receive selections based on their dietary requirements and restrictions.

Marked menus are sent back to the Diet Office and selections are processed.

Staff in the Tray Assembly area assemble each meal onto a tray. Trays are organized by floor and loaded into assigned meal delivery carts. Each patient meal is reviewed several times before it is sent to the patient.

Patient Food Services staff complete the final preparation of the patient’s meal and deliver it to the nursing unit, where support service workers and personal support workers deliver it to the patient.

Used trays, dishes and utensils are loaded back onto carts and returned to the dish room for cleaning.

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LHSC Food Service staff member, Jen Bonk, scoops out mashed potatoes while working on trayline assembly.
14,868 servings of milk are served per week at LHSC
Fresh produce is on hand for sandwiches and salads, which are made daily
Fresh salads are prepped and ready for distribution on trayline assembly
The retherm area is where meals are heated in large ovens.
Completed meal trays are loaded into large containers called trucks, which are then linked together and hauled to the loading bay (to go to University Hospital) or to the elevators (Victoria Hospital) as they make their way to the patient floors.
A wide variety of sandwiches are made daily.