Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

MAR 2018

Foodservice Equipment & Supplies magazines is an industry resource connecting foodservice operators, equipment and supplies manufacturers and dealers, and facility design consultants.

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Source Reduction and Reuse R ecycling, composting and using a pulper system represent great ways to divert food from landfills. But what about producing less food in general? Source reduction and reuse remains at the top of the EPA's waste management hierarchy, before recycling and composting, before energy recovery, and finally treatment and disposal. Operators that want to assess their performance can start by developing a clear, visual image of how much food waste they produce on a daily, even hourly basis. Case Study: Reid Health For Reid Health, a 207-bed, independent, nonprofit hospital serving 3,600 meals a day, the waste reality sprung up via its food donation program. In the fall of 2016, the hospital began donating leftover food, pre-consumer from its cafe and catering operation to local soup kitchens. Items deemed suitable for donations in- clude entrees and other food stored in hot boxes, but that were never used. The food bank provides freezers for the hospital, and staff members transfer the leftover food to disposable pans and packaging for safe, convenient travel and use. "It was eye opening because this was the first time that we really saw how much we were overproducing," says Kris Ankeny, director of food and nutrition services at Reid Health in Richmond, Ind. "Before that it was just going down the garbage disposal. We didn't have a good system for post-production reporting, and just seeing all the food go to the food bank, while that is a great thing, made it obvious that we were producing more food than we needed." Before taking steps to reduce food production, and ulti- mately, waste, the food bank would come three times a week. Now, it comes just once a week. How Reid Health Reduced Waste management doesn't happen by one person alone. It takes a team. Ankeny began the effort by organizing a waste management team. In addition to herself, that team includes the central kitchen chef, the head of procurement, the cafe manager, and some full-time staff members. They continue to meet weekly to set and review goals. Brainstorming, collaboration, and best of all, accountability, works. "We are regularly looking through all of our waste tracking reports and photos and honing in on areas we can improve and cut down on our production," says Ankeny. Next came food waste tracking scales. Reid Health installed scales fitted with cameras and software for real-time data and analytics in its central kitchen. As a result, the hospital cut food waste in half. Ankey reports food waste dropped from $1,400 per week to between $600 and $700 per week. Her ultimate goal is $500 per week or less. What once was a three-times-per-week food waste donation has since become a once-a-week donation. Moreover, Ankeny says food costs have dropped 6 percent to 7 percent year over year. Operators can invest in any number of By Amelia Levin WASTE MANAGEMENT SERIES Reid Health and MGM Resorts make strides in food waste reduction. 94 • FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES • MARCH 2018 Cooking in smaller batches has kept over- production issues at bay for the Reid Health culinary team.

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