The Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust has once again been awarded the Certificate of Excellence following an external food safety audit carried out by Support Training Services Solutions (STS) for its Royal Berkshire Hospital catering provision.
The hospital is one of a few still offering a plated meal service, with all the food prepared in-house by the kitchen’s 15 chefs. Its’ meals are also regularly commended by patients on NHS Choices and highly rated in the Trust’s annual PLACE score, published each year.
Every hospital has a legal duty to comply with stringent regulations to meet food and safety and hygiene standards. The audit ensures that the Simply Safe Food Management System is being adhered to and that controls are in place to manage any element of risk during food purchase, storage, preparation, production or service in line with Hazard Critical Control Point (HACCP) protocols.
During the visit, a number of areas were inspected including: delivery, storage, preparation, thawing, cooking, cooling, service, transportation, ward service, allergens, cleaning, hygiene, structure and equipment, waste, pest control, training, documentation and internal audits.
Daniel Cripps, Trust Catering Manager - leads a 77-strong catering team that plans, cooks and delivers 45,000 patient meals a month, as well as running two busy restaurants around the RBH site and a delibar, serving more than 250,000 members of staff and visitors each year.
On hearing the news Daniel said: “I am delighted that we have once again received the Certificate of Excellence, recognising the outstanding service we provide. It takes a huge team effort from all parties in the department with strong leadership from the management team.
“The majority of hospitals now use frozen ready-made meals to save on staffing costs, but we see the value of freshly cooked nutritional meals for our patients. We understand the importance of food in a patient’s recovery, and do everything possible to ensure we can provide good, appetising food for our patients, and staff to eat.”