“Nutrition Professionals Australia - Solutions for a Healthy Life”

Covid-19 - Practical Solutions for Unprecedented Challenges - Part 2 of 2

What do you need to consider with aged care food services if there is an infection?

Each home or organisation will need to act slightly differently depending on their own policies, practices, the demands on resources and how the food service to residents is structured. Infection control strategies and Department of Health advice is paramount.

Planning is the key and should be undertaken before any infection is experienced.

Considerations include:

  • Potential staffing shortages in food service due to Covid 19 exposure or ill health
  • Identification of effective communication channels regarding food supply in the home in times of change
  • Maintenance of product continuity- may need to identify back up suppliers
  • Identification of suppliers of additional food items, such as portion control packs, supplements, modified texture meals that may be required

Strategies might include:

  • Limiting exposure of residents to staff- eg using designated staff to deliver all meals and mid meals
  • Providing snacks on trays at mealtimes
  • Providing a generous supply of snacks in the kitchenette/pantry that the designated staff can access easily
  • Ensure supply of high energy, high protein foods, eg eggs, milk, milk drinks
  • Supplements (in house or commercial) may need to be increased

If there are limited food service staff an organisation may need to:

  • Provide drinking water as bottled water
  • Cease salad and sandwich preparation or consider buying them in
  • May need to use portion control items more widely just ensure that they can be opened
  • Purchase prepared meals to limit workload
  • Supply some meals on disposable plates and cutlery to reduce washing demands
  • Move to an a la carte menu, giving resident only limited choice at the meal service
  • Identify new staff early including Chef, food service assistants who can gain some additional training whilst business remains as usual
  • Increase freezer capacity to store additional items needed 

Contact us to arrange a free, no obligation 15-minute aged care nutrition check!

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