More on Hospital Food

Tonight’s dinner at Acme Regional features a somewhat soggy looking shepherd’s pie with even soggier miniature carrots, all served up on a flimsy plastic plate. Yum. I don’t think they could make food less appealing, even if they tried.

Maybe North York Gen has the answer — or at least that’s what they claim. They’ve just contracted out their food services to Compass Group, the largest food services company in the world. Incidentally, Compass Group has been implicated in a nasty United Nations bribery scandal and the UN has actually dropped them as a contractor.

Anyway, NYGH’s new contractor features “Steamplicity” food. This involves some sort of fancy machinery*, called a microwave, that hots up prepackaged food, no doubt supplied by the vendor at some outrageously high cost — no wait! It’s Michelina’s!.

And it evades the real issue: providing fresh, real, nutritious food to patients. I wonder if any hospital administrator has ever actually costed any of this out — and I mean the real costs, including impacts on patient morbidity and mortality rates.



*This is the description of “Steamplicity”.  To be honest, it makes absolutely no sense to me at all.  Especially the steam valve part.

Specially equipped pantries for food preparation will be located on each patient floor allowing food freshness to be maximized. The food is pressure cooked in microwaves using heatproof, pressure-resistant plastic packages with patented technology, which includes an innovative valve control system. Heating the water molecules within the food builds steam pressure, and the pressure is released gradually through the unique valve to cook the food. Throughout the food preparation and delivery process, systems are in place to ensure food safety and hygiene.


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  1. #1 by totally digusted on Friday 10 September 2010 - 2011

    Steamplicity “sucks”. The programme protrays itself as a fresh and new way of providing hospital patients with tasty healthy meals. That is a lie. North York General Hosptial has contracted out it’s inpatient and outpatient food services divisions to them and it is a nightmare. Patients routinely complain about the lack of quality of the food. It’s no better than a microwave dinner you can get at the grocery store. Specfically patients complain about the level of salt in these pre packaged meals. If they order a certain meal, ie; chicken, salmon, roast beef etc, they are stuck with the sides that accompany them in the meal. The “special” microwave technology they brag about using steam technology is the same as you get using your 99$ dollar machine at home. Patients have stated and even yelled that the food is hurendous and tastes awful.

    Another thing is that they serve past due food to patients. They state that if the meal was frozen before the best before/expiry date it still be served. To conceal the past due date they slap on a “ENJOY YOUR MEAL” sticker.

  2. #2 by Anonymous Employee on Monday 18 June 2012 - 0811

    I work for NYGH in their inpatient food services department…I can attest to the practice that management deliberately freezes their so called “fresh” meals to help ‘manage’ their inventory….we routinely serve entrees that are days past due…and like the other poster said, we slap that big “Enjoy Your Meal!” sticker smack dab across it….

    It’s a hush hush practice that hasn’t been discussed nor acknowledged to us food service workers…we only get reprimanded for failing to conceal the past due date…and that only happens when we run out of the non expired meals….

    The system is a complete nightmare…..patients do NOT like the food, contrary to popular belief, and more importantly (to me atleast)…employees have been absolutely tortured by the constant changes, irresponsibility, unaccountably and general lack of respect shown to us by our management….and you have an environment where there’s no recourse for us employees, and that’s reflected in the way were treated…


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