Oct 15

Written by: host
10/15/2015 1:39 PM  RssIcon

Tighter control of costs, production, and food costs will be made apparent more than ever in 2012.

Flexibility, energy management, sustainability, healthy food. Does this resonate in your operations? Whether you are getting menu selections via room service, hybrid of room service, written menus or bedside menu selections it is all about the cooking and meal delivery process to maximize the best of both.

There is ongoing confirmation of the growing popularity of energy-efficient, non-invasive cooking methodologies. Sous vide preparation, in particular, seems to be undergoing something of a revival since its introduction in the U.S. during the 1980s, with increasing numbers of operators and chefs recognizing the nutrition-preserving, food appearance-enhancing qualities of this low and slow cooking method.

We look at how we can centralize, consolidate or apply best practices to get fundamental costs out of our infrastructure. This is a great value imperative. On December 1st, Alluserv hosted a webinar titled,” Healthcare Food: Customer Satisfaction, Economics, Quality, Oh My!” It becomes clear after the presentation and industry research that a Precision Temperature Cooking System model of food production can give you:

  • healthy benefits
  • enhance flavor food profiles
  • increased food safety
  • increased food quality
  • more variety in the same footprint
  • labor efficiencies

In addition, wowing your patients, employees and visitors. It can be utilized to produce food for patient meals, retail and catering. The efficiencies of a cook/chill processes just greener in energy and management (a whole lot more) plus the quality, taste and appearance of a fine restaurant cooked to order for each food item.

The kitchen of the future (commercial and non-commercial) may use sous vide process. Fewer employees and increased kitchen technology and software means relying more on a previous temperature process to create foods using combi ovens, water baths, pods set up, tray lines and more. The quality you get can be a superior alternative.

Imagine somebody making the most wonderful pot roast, put that pot roast into a blast chiller, and then reheat in a precision temperature hot water bath process. Then garnished with a great au just and presented on a plate. It will maximize people resources and give you great control. Reliability, consistency production efficiently, quality, sustainable and presentation. This type of cooking can give you the production and people efficiencies for healthcare foodservice compared to the cook/chill was in the 1990s. Today’s people are focused on cost containment, buying local, sustainable food, energy efficiencies, greener and having delicious tasty hospital food.

The healthcare future cooking processes will definitely have HACCP standards optimized and simplified. Several hospitals could even share a small footprint and have 24 hours room service and retail food service, and still have great patient satisfaction and revenue generating operations. Kaiser’s “Eat to Thrive” mission becomes a reality in busy hospital due to this cooking process.

With ACOs and Healthcare Reform coming it will reflect in the hospital bottom line. This will affect operational needs, and capital expenditures for every department including foodservice. Retuning operations with more efficiencies in terms of energy and labor efficiencies, greener, leaner, multifunctional kitchen equipment-ovens, multi temp carts, etc… Moreover, you can accomplish menu diversity and variety without compromising quality.

How will you maintain food quality in your operation? Are you gearing up to respond to look to the future for operational cooking solutions that are sustainability?

By Marsha Diamond, MA, RD

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