Even during the pandemic, our Signature Dining program is providing a variety of delicious options. As our senior living communities have had to update their dining programs to keep everyone safe, it remains important to still provide the older population with various selections of freshly cooked, tasty and nutritious food options to keep them healthy. At our assisted living, memory care, and post-acute care communities, we have had to adjust to room service. We are still committed to providing a truly exceptional dining experience to your loved ones, just in a more personal way. Each delivery is done with care and a smile.
Following Food Safety Precautions from Government and Health Officials
First and foremost, we are actively following all food safety precautions previously in-place with an increased set of precautions, as mandated by local government and health officials when it comes to food safety. All of our dining staff wear proper protective equipment at all times when handling any food or beverages that the seniors will have. According to the official food safety regulations by the World Health Organization, “Personal protective equipment (PPE), such as masks and gloves, can be effective in reducing the spread of viruses and disease within the food industry.” While research has indicated that the likelihood of getting the virus from food surfaces is low, we can never be too cautious when it comes to the safety of the seniors in our care.
Since day one, the name of the game with COVID-19 prevention has been social distancing and avoiding large gatherings. Experts, such as the CDC, recommended early on to “Cancel communal dining and group activities, such as internal and external activities.” With that information in mind, we acted decisively across our senior living communities to cancel group dining until a day can come where the transmission rate is low enough to reintroduce it safely. People still have to eat, though, so we updated our dining program to offer one-on-one delivery to the apartments and rooms to ensure that they can still enjoy a nice meal as safely as possible.
Locally Grown Produce
What better way to know that the food we are serving the seniors is safe than by going local – whether from our own yard or from a local farmer? A study done in 2018 found that, “When growing your own food, your diet is more diverse and healthy, packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.” Wherever possible, and in a safe way, our communities are growing their own produce to serve in our resident meals. If home grown is not an option, our dining teams work with local vendors to keep that organic and locally grown feel. Of course, we still wear all proper protective equipment when handling the produce and, just like any other time of year, always wash the produce thoroughly before cooking and serving it. The seniors love to taste the fresh and juicy produce on their plates every day.
Continuing to Offer a Fresh Selection of Choices Every Week
A lot of people have found that they are running out of ways to keep their diets exciting throughout the pandemic. Our seniors do not have that problem. We have continued to offer a fresh selection of choices that changes on a weekly basis to ensure that their meals are still as enjoyable as they were before the pandemic. It has been slightly updated and modified due to current restrictions placed on the world due to COVID-19, but we are proud to continue to offer choice to maintain their dignity while dining with us. Our Corporate Chef, Michael Ostros, discussed this further by saying, “We pride ourselves on our restaurant-style menu complete with farm-to-table ingredients and homemade cooking featuring a wide variety of appetizers, entrees, desserts and beverages. We have continued to change our menu to offer new, fresh choices on a weekly basis to keep the residents’ breakfast, lunch and dinner exciting, even from the comfort and safety of their own rooms to help them stay strong and healthy.”