FSH menu redesign reduces food waste by epic proportion

Woman serving food
July 13, 2020

The introduction of a fixed menu at Fiona Stanley Hospital (FSH) has reduced kitchen waste by more than 4000 kilograms a year – equivalent to the weight of an adult Asian elephant.

The hospital’s food service has moved from a cyclic 14-day menu, where patients only had three different choices per meal, to a full fixed menu providing up to 17 choices for every meal.

The change has dramatically reduced food waste, down to 1–2kg a day from more than 12 kg a day.

FSH Production Kitchen Manager David Dymond said the hospital now operated similar to a commercial kitchen, providing a set menu but with greater choices every day.

“When you run the same menu every day, you are never wasting food because it never changes,” said David.

“With our previous cyclical menu, the food waste was huge because the usage of stock was very much dictated by the patient demographic.”

Australia has seen a big shift in hospital food service with many hospitals transitioning into room service and food on demand.

“A shift towards a room service model would be the best way to dramatically decrease food waste not only in the kitchen but also on the wards, due to people being able to order what they want when they want it,” said David.

“At our hospital we are confident that the shift to a fixed menu along with catering for more than 150 allergies are the first building blocks towards a future room service model at FSH.”

This outstanding result highlights the efforts in the FSH catering department to improve the hospital’s environmental footprint while improving patient meal options.