Patient trays left half-eaten. Food sitting on a shelf well past its expiration date. Extra, unneeded quantities of an ingredient used in a special, one-time menu offering. Equipment that ends up burning food or creating a soggy mess.
It seems the threat of food waste is waiting at every turn within a hospital, making it worth your careful attention. In addition to being socially responsible, cutting food waste can help cut your purchasing spend by up to 6%, according to one report.
After first looking at the scope of the food waste challenge, let’s explore several practical ways you can minimize the threat at your hospital.
Food waste facts
It’s not just hospitals. Food waste is a major issue across the entire food system. Here are some eye-opening numbers that show the extent of the problem, as well as the benefits you can enjoy by tackling it:
In the US, 40% of food is wasted from farm to landfill.
Hospitals waste 2-3 times more food than other sectors.
Food waste accounts for 10-15% of an average hospital’s overall waste.
That’s the bad news. Now let’s look at ways you can turn all those negatives into positive actions at your hospital.
Reducing food waste early
The best place to begin addressing the food waste challenge is where every meal starts: menu planning and preparation.
Consider using common ingredients across multiple offerings as a simple, first step. Be creative. Sometimes, the only reason an ingredient isn’t used in a different dish is because nobody had considered it before.
You can also train staff (or give them a refresher course) on ways they can reduce waste, such as being more mindful of expiration dates and preparing vegetables with fewer scraps. You’ll also want to take full advantage of that will keep food at just the right temperature before it’s enjoyed by customers or patients.
Reducing food waste often
If you’re not already doing so, consider on-demand dining. By making each meal to order, there’s a greatly reduced risk of unwanted food ending up in the trash.
What’s most popular on your menu? Which meals are more likely to get half-eaten and thrown away? One way to answer these questions is through observation and intuition. Another is to consider foodservice management software that can do much of the heavy lifting for you, allowing you to focus on quality cuisine that will be thoroughly enjoyed to the last mouthful. Your dumpsters out back will thank you.
When it comes to minimizing food waste, make sure you’re also leaving no area of service unexplored. It might be as simple as making go-to containers available at catered staff meetings and other gatherings. Or upgrading to kitchen equipment that cooks food perfectly the first time. While purchasing something as central to your kitchen as an oven is clearly a major decision, the ultimate payoff is hard to ignore.
You’re going to win this battle against food waste and Ovention is right there beside you. Our complete lineup of ovens can help you confront this threat of food waste head-on. Our website has all the details. Let’s do this!
Our goal is to partner with you to help you build your business. We will set up a demonstration that suits your needs, whether you want us to cook your current product, show you a range of new products, or do a side-by-side comparison with another oven we are ready to show you what Ovention can do.
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Experience an Ovention oven in action. We have test kitchens all across the country and representatives waiting to demonstrate our award-winning technology and ease of use. Contact us today to learn how one of our ovens can elevate your culinary versatility and build your business.
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