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Tue 6 Jan 2009 04:00 AM

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Hospital wins first ME food safety award

Tawam Hospital in Al Ain has become the first healthcare provider in the region to win an international food safety award, in recognition of its efforts to improve catering services.

Tawam Hospital in Al Ain has become the first healthcare provider in the region to win an international food safety award, in recognition of its efforts to improve catering services.

The US-based Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point award recognises gold standard practice in the production, storage, cooking, transportation and disposal of food. It has a strong focus on preventing hazardous material contaminating food.

It was awarded to Tawam Hospital, which is run by John Hopkins, after it overhauled its entire catering process. Starting last November when it contracted out its food services to catering firm Abu Dhabi National Hotels and Compass.

"Hospital food in general is poor and we wanted to turn that 180 degrees. To do that you have to make sure it is clean and safe first," said Brian de Francesca, PR and marketing manager.

Instead of getting a stock meal, patients now choose from a full menu of dishes, which are delivered to the wards in temperature controlled trolleys - that keep hot food hot and cold food cold.

Despite the changes money spent on patient meals has only increased from AED20 to AED25 (US$5.50 to $6.80), to AED30 ($8.16) per patient, de Francesca added.

"Half the food got thrown away, now patients have a menu and there's less waste," he said.

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