Dietitian Ruth Smith in Cost Sector Catering magazine ‘Getting packaging right in the fight against malnutrition’
This month Ruth discusses food service packaging and its impact on nutrition
See the full article below or view online in the June edition here.
Getting packaging right in the fight against malnutrition
At one time or another, most of us have had to help an elderly friend or relative open a food packet. Getting into packaging can be exhausting and infuriating when you’re older, and it’s easy to see why sometimes people give up. The adage we often hear in our business is that ‘the nutritional content of an uneaten meal is nil’. This is why packaging plays such a crucial role in helping avoid malnutrition.
All packaging given to residents and patients must be easy to open, without the need for scissors. That’s the idea behind an international standard (ISO) for ease of packaging for which new research was launched at the latest Hospital Caterers Association (HCA) forum. The research from the NHS, Sheffield Hallam University, manufacturers and industry, showed a staggering 40% of patients can’t open the packaging their food is supplied in. A damning stat that shows just how vital it is to improve packaging.
We’re right behind this new ISO, so for our part our ground-breaking Crown Advantage range uses Smartpack technology in its packaging. This means that our award-winning Crown Advantage range now provides the only prepared meal for the healthcare market with a removable base.
Even though those eating our meals don’t have to open them themselves, providing meals that can be transferred easily onto a warm plate without the need for scissors or tearing allows caterers to provide beautifully presented, simple to access food. We know good presentation is key to increasing nutritional intake, so never having to tip the meal out of the pack means it always look appetising.
By offering nutritious meals in an appetising way thanks to good presentation, our Crown Advantage Smartpack range is helping us take one more step towards winning the battle against malnutrition.