The hospital, today, is one of the most complex and fascinating
organizations that mobilizes the skills and efforts of a number of widely divergent groups of professionals, semi-professionals and
non-professionals to provide a highly personalized service to individual
Today, the dietary department ranks as one of the major departments of the hospital, headed by a specialist, the dietitian. "The object of catering in
hospitals is to assist the nursing staff to get the patient better as soon as
possible. To do this, it is necessary to provide good quality food, to cook it
with the minimum loss of nutrients and to provide it to the patients in an
appetizing manner. If the food supplied to the patient is good plentiful,
appetizing and nutritionally correct, then it plays a very great part towards
the speedy recovery of the patient. - A part possibly as equally important
as careful nursing and skilled medical attention.
Diet therapy is the use of food; as an agent in effecting recovery from
illness. It 'is concerned with the nutrition of all patients-those receiving
normal diets as well as those for whom modified diets have been
The normal diet may be modified
- To provide change in consistency as in fluid and soft diets
- To increase or decrease energy levels
- To include greater or lesser amounts of one or more nutrients
egg, high protein, low sodium etc..
- To increase or decrease fiber content of diet
- To provide foods bland in flavor
- To include or exclude specific foods as' in allergic conditions.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF DIETS
Regular/Normal diet, soft diet, bland diet, high or low fibre diet
high or low protein diet, high-or low, fat diet, sodium restricted
Menus are generally planned and then formulated into 'Diet List1. These
are made available to all attending medical staff.
General diets are those which are normally followed in the general wards.
Menus are made four days to a week in advance. The dietitian plans menus
for each separate meal, specifying the foods to be served in a suitable
form. The nursing supervisors will keep the dietary department advised as
to the number of patients of each type of diet.
Special diets are prepared for those who ate not medically capable or
permitted to eat certain food items which are generally used in the making
of the menu. These diets are prepared under the supervision of the
dietitian or the food service supervisor
Kitchen: The hospital kitchen is planned with much consideration. The
kitchen has a receiving area, proper storage facilities, pre-preparation
room, preparation area or the main/hot kitchen. The hospital kitchen may
also have a cold kitchen.
The kitchen may also be divided into various sections such as
pre-preparation area, preparation area, grain cleaning area, tea and coffee
section, roti preparation, service and trolley loading area, washing area,
stores. The pre-preparation and preparation area may be further divided
into separate Indian and Continental areas. The location of storeroom in
relation with the kitchen is very important to avoid contamination of the
food material and also to prevent pilferage. Separate storage areas for
perishable and non-perishable items are desired.
The work flow, sufficient spacing between work tables/platforms and the
presence of various equipments must be considered when planning the
Equipments commonly found in hospital, kitchens:
1.Gas ranges 11.Steamer
2.Refrigerators12.Chapatti tava and puffer
3.Deep Freezers-13.Deep fat fryer
4.Walk-in Cooler14.Pressure Cooker
7.Brat Pan 17.Weighing scale
9.Food processor19.Bain Marie
Food service for patients may be may be any one of the two general
Decentralised or centralised.
In decentralised, service all food is prepared in a central kitchen and sent
to the floors, where it is portioned out on trays and served to patients
In centralised service, food is prepared in a central kitchen, trays are set
up and food is portioned out in a central serving unit and trays are sent to
all patients' floor.
Menus in Govt. Hospitals:
In Govt. hospitals where only a small percentage of the patients can afford
to pay for special service, it is unwise to burden either the individual patient
or the hospital with unnecessary expenses. The general menu is:
One cup of milk
Two slices of bread
Lunch & Dinner:
Menu in private hospital (First class):
Two slices of bread
One bowl of cereal
Egg (any style)
Fresh fruit juice
Vegetable (choice of two vegs)
E/Tea - Milk, Biscuits
Same as Lunch