The new Medical City Hospitals of Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) has the biggest healthcare kitchen in the region capable of providing patients with up to 4,000 healthy and nutritious meals every day. They can accommodate patients with a range of allergies and other health concerns.
Speaking about the new HMC Medical City Healthcare Kitchen, Reem Al Saadi, Director of Dietetics and Nutrition said that the new kitchen has a very complex operation, catering to more than 65 different diets at any given time.
This includes patients with swallowing issues and those with specific macro or micronutrient requirements. We know that nutritious meals play a role in the healing and recovery process and while patients are in hospital, diet is a priority and can be a factor to how quickly a patient recovers. Every meal has to go through a strict process and is planned with dietitians according to the individual needs of the patient.’
Menus are balanced to ensure that there is variety and that a day’s complete menu for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks, delivers the nutrition and calories needed to meet the health requirements of patients. Much planning goes into each dish, which is tested several times and assessed by dietitians before being added to the menu. The most popular dish among patients is Chicken Biryani with Raita Salad.
Meals in the kitchen of the new Medical City Hospitals are planned and prepared by an extensive team of more than 300 staff, including dietitians, chefs, and stewards, each of whom is involved in different stages of the food preparation process. This process includes everything from ordering and delivery of raw ingredients to the preparation and serving of meals, and finally the meticulous clearing and cleaning process.
The kitchen is in fact so large and complex that more than 150 staff are employed just to clean and ensure hygiene standards are met. The dedicated loading dock and temperature-controlled storage facilities see dozens of deliveries of fresh food and produce each day.
Al Saadi added that the kitchen was designed with maximum efficiency to best meet the nutritional needs of patients. They have separate streams (sections) for chicken, fish, bakery, and dairy items, and for processing, receiving, thawing, and sending out meals. The kitchen is also equipped with 27 cold and freezer rooms to store food, fitted with the most technically-advanced food-processing equipment, including machines that can peel and chop vegetables as well as cook bulk quantities of various foods.
In terms of numbers, the kitchen’s enormous capacity means that it currently serves up more than 1,000 kg of rice each month, enables the cleaning, washing and disinfecting of thousands of plates and pieces of cutlery, and has a master corridor that links the kitchen to the hospital facilities which is 800 metres long (two laps of an Olympic track).
For more information about the new Medical City Healthcare Kitchen, visit the HMC website at hamad.qa.