Up to half of patient food in Irish hospitals is not eaten

August 14, 2019

Up to half of patient food in Irish hospitals is not eaten and health officials are working on guidelines to address food waste, according to an article on the Journal website.

The Health service Executive (HSE) has said it is committed to reducing food waste in Irish hospitals as research shows up to 49 percent of food provided to patients is not eaten.

Research by the National Health Sustainability Office (NHSO) included food waste surveys of both acute hospitals and community care facilities. 

There are two main patient food delivery systems in Irish hospitals – bulk food systems and centrally plated systems. Bulk food is prepared in the main kitchen and sent, in bulk containers, to the wards, where it is plated. In a centrally plated system, food is prepared and plated in the main kitchen. It is then transferred to the different wards before serving.

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