Healthcare establishments: how to optimize meal preparation

Healthcare establishments: how to optimize meal preparation

As the COVID-19 crisis continues, concerns are running high among healthcare workers. Staff shortages, fatigue and stress have become realities in every department, even in the kitchen. Food service managers need to ensure compliance with health guidelines and social distancing measures, often while coping with reduced staff. To help you contend with these exceptional circumstances, here are three ideas to help facilitate meal planning and preparation.


1. Use more fully cooked items

They have a number of benefits:

  • They make meal preparation, cooking and clean-up of equipment faster, with less labour required.
  • They require less training to prepare, which is helpful when staff turnover is high.  

They keep longer than uncooked foods, simplify stock keeping and help reduce losses, especially if your emergency plans call for stocking up for longer periods.


Meal suggestion: fully cooked chicken breast grills (8060219)

Chicken breast on tomatoes

You can reheat these chicken breasts in under 10 minutes and serve them on a bed of grilled vegetables including eggplant, peppers and dried tomatoes.


2. Maximize use of ingredients

To be ready in times of crisis, food service emergency plans generally call for keeping several days’ food supply on hand. To simplify stock keeping, consider making a variety of dishes using the same ingredient. Also keep the overall number of ingredients to a minimum to simplify preparation.


Meal suggestion: roast turkey three ways (8118141)


roast turkey 2

Roasted directly in its oven bag, our boneless turkey roast stays tender and juicy and can be served sliced with puréed and green vegetables or in a stew or salad.


3. Use precut foods

The coronavirus pandemic has prompted food service managers to review menus and service practices in cafeterias and hospitals to help reduce viral spread through human contact with food. Quite often salad bars, buffets and soup bars are replaced with ready-to-go foods in suitable carry-out containers. To make things easier, use pre-cut foods like sliced deli meats or products in cubes or strips for making sandwiches, wraps and salads but also in hot dishes such as shish kebabs and stir fries.


Meal suggestion: cubed chicken croissants (6161235)


Fully cooked and of uniform size, our chicken cubes are the ideal choice for sandwich fillings and salads.  


Now more than ever in this time of crisis, the Olymel Food Service team is here for you. If you need product information, advice or suggestions, do not hesitate to contact us by phone or email.


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