Nutritious food can help prevent chronic disease and is essential for optimal patient treatment and recovery.
The Victorian Government will mandate upgraded food quality standards for public hospital patients and public aged care residents that focus on cultural diversity, taste and nutritional quality, as well as locally sourced food.
In 2019, the Victorian Government is conducting an review of the food served in Victorian public health services and public sector residential aged care services. The review will consider nutritional value and how menus cater for diverse diets.
Food provides a sense of wellbeing and emotional comfort and is an important expression of cultural identity. To acknowledge these functions of food the audit will assess the taste, variety and acceptability of meals and whether preferences for culturally diverse diets are being met.
Because food purchasing practices can support the local economy, the review will look for opportunities to source food from Victorian farmers and producers.
In 2020, all public hospital and aged care facilities will be required to follow revised nutrition standards and guidelines. Most health services are already serving up high quality and nutritious meals. This work will ensure that all Victorian patients and residents enjoy nutritious and appealing meals that are sourced from Victorian suppliers.
This food standards project builds on the work of the Healthy Eating Advisory Service which supports hospitals to promote healthier food and drinks in their retail outlets, vending and catering. This project also includes retail outlets and vending machines.
You can support your local health service to get a head start in implementing the existing Healthy Choices guidelines.Submit your story!