HOT lunches are back on the menu in the staff canteen at Orange hospital after HealthShare NSW decided not to renew its contract, saying the provision of the service wasn’t profitable.
A private operator, Byng Street Catering, has taken over the operation of the canteen after it was put out to tender by Orange Health Service.
Byng Street Catering owner Jeremy Norris said the hot lunches would be prepared in the kitchen at the Orange Botanic Gardens, where he has recently taken over the contract, and transported via refrigerated vans to the hospital.
“I am very conscious that we are providing a service in a health facility and so the emphasis must be on preparing food that is appealing and with fresh produce,” he said.
Mr Norris said when he landed the contract he was keen to canvas staff about their food preferences.
“We did get some interesting suggestions from pie and gravy right through to a range of other foods,” he said.
“But I am still keen to have staff feedback.”
Mr Norris said part of his brie was to be innovative in providing a food service to staff.
“I recognise, for example, a nurse working in intensive care or in theatres may have limited time, so I have introduced a pre-ordering system so we can deliver to staff in those areas of the hospital,” he said.
Mr Norris said due to the size of the hospital and staff numbers the development of future healthy menus would evolve.
“After requesting feedback on food menus and choices, so far I have two full A4 pages to go through, as I think it’s important to respond to the staff needs,” he said.
Mr Norris said the new staff canteen arrangements would include gluten free options.