Hospital's new foodservice program features local, fresh ingredients

After a swtich to a new foodservice provider, hospital aims to increase healthfulness of menu.

July 25—Tomato and corn salad and blueberry sorbet aren’t your average items on a hospital menu.

“When you think of hospital food, you think of it as a step above airplane food,” said Matthew Croussouloudis, director of food and nutrition of the Hudson Valley Hospital Center. “So we wanted to take it to a whole new level.”

On Tuesday, residents and hospital employees gathered at a farmers market to taste samples from the hospital’s new patient and cafeteria menu. The samples were given out by Noah Sheetz, the hospital’s executive chef. He was the chef at the governor’s mansion during the Pataki administration.

“It tastes so natural,” Croussouloudis said of the tomato and corn salad. “It doesn’t even need any sugar or anything else but itself. We want to stray away from processed, canned foods.”

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A large part of menuing allergen-friendly cuisine is deciding which gluten-free items to serve.

In particular, college dining hall operators must decide whether to make gluten-free items in-house or to order gluten-free items from a manufacturer. Some factors to consider are: the size of the university, the demand for gluten-free options,and the ability to have separate gluten-free storage and workspaces in the university dining hall kitchen.

According to FoodService Director , 77% of college and university operators purchase their gluten-free...

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Reading Hospital in West Reading, Pa., is using robots to help deliver patient meals, BCTV reports.

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Moving at three miles per hour, the robots will follow preprogrammed routes to the HealthPlex, where room ambassadors will remove room service carts from the TUGs and deliver them to patients. The TUGs will then return to nutrition services with dirty dishes for cleaning.

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Sodexo has partnered with fast casual Blaze Pizza to offer the chain’s signature pizzas, salads, beverages and desserts at select venues served by Sodexo, including colleges and universities.

Bill Lacey, senior vice president of marketing at Sodexo, said that Blaze’s growth in the fast-casual sector drove the partnership. Blaze opened its first unit in 2012 near the University of California at Irvine. Its pizzas are flash fired, cooking in under 180 seconds, according to the chain—a selling point for busy customers.

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