View of the trayline from behind. I was usually stationed at the very end on the right, and would check the meals before they went to the hospital floor.
I was really nervous about taking pictures in the kitchen. I wouldn't survive as a stealth photographer.What did I do in the hospital kitchen?
Under the supervision of the Assistant Director of Patient Services (who is also a Registered Dietitian), I have been learning about management roles in the context of large-scale food production.
- Help assemble and check meals on the trayline.
- Performance Improvement measurements in the kitchen (accuracy of meal trays, timing of room service delivery, temperature compliance of the food, protocol compliance of the meal passer employees).
- Brief research report on sustainability in foodservice.
- Observed the call center, where patients place their room service orders.
- Sanitation and safety audits in the kitchen.
- Test tray...testing for correct food temperatures once the meal reaches the patient's room.
- Paperwork for payroll.
- Observe the head chef in food purchasing and inventory.
- Attend various meeting with my manager.
- Inservice with the cooks. The topic was the gluten-free diet.
Tasty [and Sustainable] Links to Share
While researching the concept of sustainability within foodservice institutions, I came across several informative resources. Just want to share! Enjoy.
Healthy Land, Healthy Food, and Healthy Eaters: Dietitians Cultivating Sustainable Food Systems. By Angie Tagtow and Alison Harmon. Published 2009. Eight page handout explaining the dietitian's role in approaching food, nutrition and health from an ecological standpoint.
The Food Climate Relationship: The Registered Dietitians' Balanced Approach to Postivie Change. Published 2010. Handout published by Health Care Without Harm and Hunger and Environmental Nutrition (dietetic practice group of the American Dietetic Association).
Buyer's Guide for Sustainable Seafood. By the Monterey Bay Aquarium, as part of their SeafoodWatch program. They characterize fish by "Best Choice," "Good Alternative" and "Avoid." Also check out their archives of Sustainable Seafood Recipes for amazing dishes like "Grilled Oysters with Wasabi and Miso." Ouch...that sounds good.
Gotta love those homemade choc chip cookies.
The kitchen feeds me well! I have hardly gone grocery shopping in 3 weeks.
Next week I start clinical rotations with the dietitians on the adult inpatient floors! Cardiology is first up. It's time for real patient contact, and I am so nervous. Any tips for me??
PS- My last day in the kitchen is Friday. I won't miss the hairnets, but I will sincerely miss the kitchen family. Thank you for welcoming me into your loud and crazy, but friendly world!