H1N1

A new coding system in hospitals.

I ran across an interesting story over the weekend. It actually was a follow-up to an article that had appeared in The Free Lance-Star, a newspaper in Fredericksburg, Va. Written by the newspaper's health reporter, the article told of an unfortunate side effect of a restriction on visitors that apparently was put into effect at a number of hospitals in the state.

The hospitals are using a "green/yellow/red" coding system to indicate who may visit a healthcare facility. Yellow means no one under 18 is allowed to visit, and red mean only immediate family may visit, and only two visitors at a time.

Jim Hall wrote, "A friend was surprised to find that she was welcome in Mary Washington Hospital recently but that her 16-year-old son was not. The two were headed to the hospital cafeteria when a security guard intercepted them near the front door."

Hall reported that his friend had known about the restriction but thought it pertains only to patient areas of the hospital. The Mary Washington cafeteria is located in the basement of the building.

That made me wonder whether this was a case of an overzealous security guard or a policy that could have a negative impact on foodservice operations. Assistant editor Becky Schilling will be checking on how hospitals are dealing with the threat of the H1N1 virus. We'd love to hear from all operators, healthcare and other. What procedures are you putting in place to protect staff, patients, employees, etc., from the "swine flu" virus?

E-mail me at pking@foodservicedirector.com. In particular we'd like to hear from hospital directors about visitor restrictions at your institutions and in what ways foodservice might be affected.

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

Amherst-Pelham Regional School District in Amherst, Mass., is updating its lunch debt policy to no longer single out students, MassLive reports.

Under the new policy, students with lunch debt will be given the same meals as their peers, regardless of how much they owe. School officials will also be communicating directly with parents of students who have accumulated debt instead of through the students themselves.

The updated policy comes just before U.S. school districts will be required to publicly list their lunch debt policies, per new USDA requirements starting July 1...

Menu Development
eureka

Since California’s state motto is “Eureka!” it seems fitting that a recent conversation with the director of hospitality at San Diego’s Palomar Health led to the biggest aha moment I’ve had in a long time.

I called Jim Metzger in late April with the purpose of discussing Palomar’s recent commitment to the goal of making 60% of its total menu plant-based by this summer. It seemed a lofty number, and I was curious how the public health system planned to get there.

But my personal eureka didn’t come while we were talking about how Palomar had cleaned up the impulse-buy zones...

Industry News & Opinion

Labeling foods with indulgent buzzwords such as “sweet sizzlin’” and “crispy” can lead consumers to make healthier food choices , according to a recent study out of Stanford University .

In the fall 2016 study, researchers labeled vegetables in one of the school’s dining halls using terms from four categories: basic, healthy restrictive, healthy positive or indulgent.

The green beans, for example, were listed as “green beans” for basic, “light ‘n’ low-carb green beans and shallots” for healthy restrictive, “healthy energy boosting green beans and shallots” for healthy...

Ideas and Innovation
sparkling water

Our carbonated soft drink sales at Earls.67 reflect a national trend; we’re continually down on carbonated soft drink sales by 8% to 9% on an annual basis,” says Cameron Bogue, beverage director at the contemporary-casual chain Earls Kitchen + Bar.

The issue with spa water

Many operators are intrigued with the offering, but they are learning that infused water can’t be offered at a cost to guests unless there is added value beyond cut-up fruit. Bogue says, “I was adamant that I didn’t want to charge for spa water.”

Agua fresca alternatives

At the original location of

...

FSD Resources