Excellence in food service

August 12, 2019| Epworth News /

Serving up more than 3,000 meals a day with a culinary experience you’d expect at a luxury hotel, it’s no surprise that Epworth Richmond has been recognised for excellence in its room service program. 

Two category awards were awarded to Epworth Richmond, after they were recognised as state winners of the Institute of Hospitality in Healthcare (IHHC) awards 2019, automatically qualifying them for the final of the national awards to be held in late August.

Epworth Richmond Food Services Manager Noeleen Xerri received a Leadership in Health award for driving excellence and success in food service across the site and was recognised for her outstanding work.

The Richmond team also was awarded an overall project award for their room and food service program at Richmond.

Epworth Richmond Room Service is the largest room service kitchen in a healthcare setting in the western hemisphere producing meals for more than 700 overnight patient beds.

With 32 theatre operating rooms, the service also caters for more than 300 doctors and staff daily in theatres ensuring hardworking staff and specialists are kept hydrated and fed.

Partnering with local growers and businesses in the Richmond area, room service endeavours to deliver both sustainably and locally grown products with a brigade of over 30 qualified chefs.

Director of Support Services Nazim Bayrak said the program empowers patients to take their nutrition and well-being back into their own hands.

As the nature of health is feeding patients is complex, we have a multi-hybrid system in how we provide meals
— Nazim Bayrak, Director of Support Services, Epworth HealthCare

“This is more than a café or a restaurant as we are not able to make mistakes as the patients’ lives are in our hands and food plays a fundamental role in assisting in the well-being and recovery of our patients.

Mr Bayrak said the service model at Richmond was forefront of best practice in food delivery across the country.

“In the years ahead all private and public food services department will deliver meals exactly the same way we are now,” he said.

The exciting part for us is that as we are now at the leading edge of providing meals to our patients, we are able to already start to think about what we can do tomorrow that no one else is even thinking about.
— Nazim Bayrak, Director of Support Services, Epworth HealthCare

A newly developed $8 million kitchen has allowed for the introduction of a new room service model where patients are provided food by either direct meal ordering, menu monitor assistance, call centre service, or ward based production ordering.

Epworth Richmond is the first hospital nationally to be accredited ISO 22000 accreditation for food safety compliance.

As a part of the award, Epworth Richmond was recognised for its infection and cleaning strategies, staff engagement, menu choices, waste strategy with a food dehydration system which has resulted in more than 20,000 kg of food per year to be dehydrated and reused, rather than put into land fill.

All of the 157 food service staff members have played a crucial role in the success of the program.


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