8/26/2015 12:44 PM
Seriously... it's not flat and bland and tasteless, is it? Well, not everywhere – to say the least. While most hospitals have renovated or decorated their facilities and brought them up to speed with the times and met the visual needs of their patients and patrons, there has also been significant amount of work done in the way healthcare presents their food on the plate and the way the plate and trays are offered to the guests and patients. It seems like there are many more moving on to the next level of appearance and presentation
Imagine yourself siting on that bed, with a tray of items in front of you. There could be a carton of milk, glass of juice, spoon, fork and knife rolled in paper napkin or in a plastic bag or, daintily kept on a linen napkin. Then in the middle is probably a big dome, hiding the delicacies prepared especially for you, along with those for the few hundred (or thousand) others in that location. And then you open that dome.
Do you go "yuck!" or, “wow... this is not bad!” or, "holy cow, this is way beyond what I was expecting!"
Well, be rest assured you can be in any one of these situations. Regardless of whether the menu du jour included a mom's style meatloaf or a grilled southwestern spiced salmon with tomato basil relish, it starts with how it's presented and seconds after the visual, the olfactory senses kick in. hopefully, they make you salivate and you dig in. Let’s face it, when you are at a restaurant and you see an appealing dish pass by, you ask a waiter what that was. Most likely, you will order that item.
Healthcare operators across the country and for that matter the globe are working extensively on changing their menu offerings with today's times and how they present the dish on the plate and the accompaniments on the tray. They face many limitations such as budget constraints to limited skilled labor, availability of ingredients and obviously the diet of a patient. Imagine, trying to make pureed food look appetizing- yet there are those who have done it! A simple way people have helped make the whole tray appearance eye catchy is by modernizing their silverware, china and the plate covers and tray.
Check out this article on NPR.org about a comparison between hospital meals across the globe. Not to be judgmental but it’s interesting how the meals "look" or, to be specific are plated across the spectrum of different countries.
Aatul Jain, Guest Blogger, knowledgeable in food service and its many facets. Visit him at aatulJain.com and follow him @AatulJain