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News & Media

Media Release

Date: 25 January 2021

RUH tastes success with top catering industry award

A £100k investment in the kitchens at the Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust has led to the hospital receiving a top accolade from one of the catering industry's leading publications.

The hospital was awarded the coveted Operator of the Year for Innovative Kitchen Design accolade at the Foodservice Equipment Journal and Catering Insight awards.

The award is in recognition of the steps the RUH has taken to transform its kitchen operations using state-of-the-art cooking technologies.

The improvements have seen five new cookers replace the seven old, outdated boiling pans.

The new computer-controlled Vario Cooking Centres (VCCs) are electronically-driven and have individual heating squares which only heat the areas of the cooker that are needed, keeping energy use down. Chefs are also able to programme the cookers for each meal they are making, so that the temperature stays consistent for each dish.

Food is now cooked quicker and with perfect timing, so there is less waste. As a result, the RUH is now buying 10% less meat each year, without reducing the amount of meat used in its dishes.

Head of Facilities Philip Watson said: "We're delighted to have won this award, which reflects our commitment to being a sustainable organisation, while striving to provide our patients with even better quality, tastier food. "We are always looking at ways to reduce waste and use less energy and the investment in our kitchens has made them more environmentally-friendly and reduced costs too.

"What used to take two hours to cook can now be ready in 45mins as the new cookers are so much more energy-efficient.

"We are also using a lot less water. The new cookers allow you to programme how much water is needed for each meal and they will provide the exact amount. They're also easier to clean. The old boiling pans took around 200 litres of water to wash, but the new cookers need only 10 litres, so that's a massive reduction."

Appetising, nutritionally balanced meals can play a key role in a patient's recovery from illness or surgery and the RUH is improving its menu for patients, offering them a wider choice of meals.

The new-look menu, which is set to be introduced from spring this year, will offer 10 hot meal choices each day and include daily lunchtime specials, as well as a selection of lite bites, sandwiches and rolls, jacket potatoes with a choice of eight different fillings and a choice of six different salad options.

The dessert selection has also increased, with a choice of 14 hot and cold desserts.

RUH food facts

  • RUH chefs create around 45,000 patient meals each month

Each month the RUH kitchens use an average of:

  • 7,500 free range eggs
  • 4,166 2ltr cartons of semi-skimmed milk
  • 2,916 loaves of wholemeal bread
  • 3,200 250g blocks of butter
  • 750 lettuces
  • 916 cucumbers
  • 350kg of diced chicken
  • 1,500 chicken fillets
  • 14,400 vanilla ice creams


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