A positive test for coronavirus. News reaches the kitchen. The food service team knows that things need to change to prevent the spread of infection. But how will they do this?
This can happen to any home in our current times. In the current climate, it is good to be prepared with a plan on how to modify food service during a COVID-19 lockdown.
Lifeview Willow Wood in Victoria shares with us how their foodservice team managed this. We speak to their Head Chef, Frank Santoro:
When your home got the news, what changes were made?
Meals were only served in disposable plates and cups with plastic cutlery, which does not enhance the meal experience. All residents were also isolated in their rooms. All staff were required to wear the full PPE during the lockdown period which, for some residents, has a detrimental effect on their view of the meals and the food service in general.
As the chef, I made sure I was more visible to those residents I was able to see. Also, we offered a more flexible menu to residents who asked for special items and ensured we met their needs even if it meant having to go and buy the special items from the supermarket.
It was important for me that the quality of food service and meals were not diminished.
What were the biggest challenges in food service during this period?
Ensuring the residents received a hot meal was the most important aspect and a challenge.
We organised the care staff to take only one meal or tray at a time to the individual rooms with the food being covered with thermal lids.
We supervised the service of the meals ensuring lids were kept on the food in the hot plate during food service. Of course this prolonged the service time but we managed to ensure a hot, well balanced and well presented meal was delivered to each resident.
Thank you Frank and Lifeview for sharing your learnings and your wins with us. We have found it valuable to see how you adapted quickly and made your clients’ wellbeing a top priority.