Jewish Care providing specialist food to Hospital Kosher Service

10 May 2016

Jewish Care secure contract to provide specialist food to Hospital Kosher Meals Service (HKMS)

Jewish Care, working in partnership with HKMS, will be providing their specialist pureed meals to hospital patients within the M25. The meals designed for people who Dysphagia, a difficulty in swallowing, are the first ever range of kosher reformed pureed meals on offer in the UK. The meals have been tested and meet nutritional requirements necessary to aide recovery.

The hospital food range was developed following discussions between Jewish Care, Hospital Kosher Meals and NHS food supplier Medirest, part of Compass Group UK & Ireland.

Jewish Care is the Jewish community’s largest social care provider. Over the years the organisation has experienced an increase in frailty levels and complexity of need of clients particularly across their care homes. When the organisation brought their catering services in-house 2 ½ years ago they committed to investing in product development for clients with specialist dietary needs. With around 10% of clients in the organisation’s care homes presenting with Dysphagia they set about developing first kosher pureed reformed meals – pureed food that both looks and tastes as it should.

The production of the new hospital food range will take place in the kitchen of a new care home during the evenings, once meal service for the day is complete. The launch range will include 5 different meals which are meat and vegetarian parav meals. Jewish Care are planning to add more options to the menu overtime. The food is packaged in a double wrapped container to ensure kashrut and labelled with instructions for hospital staff to either microwave or reheat in a regeneration oven. All food is Glatt Kosher.

Simon Morris, Chief Executive, Jewish Care commented:

“This is an exciting day for all of us at Jewish Care. Thanks to support from Hospital Kosher Meals, hospital patients will be served kosher specialist food that not only tastes food good but importantly provides them with the nutrition to aide their recovery.

“When we brought our catering service in-house, just over 2 ½ years ago, we committed to invest in specialist product development. From today this investment won’t only benefit our clients but Jewish hospital patients.”

Michael Freedman, Hospital Kosher Meals Service, said:

“We have struggled for many years to be able to produce an acceptable range of kosher puree meals and we are delighted to have achieved this in conjunction with Jewish Care. It represents a significant improvement in the range of food which we provide to Jewish hospitalised patients.”

Steve Cenci, Managing Director of Healthcare at Compass Group UK & Ireland, added:

“We are delighted that as a result of the collaboration between ourselves, Jewish Care and Hospital Kosher Meals, that these specialised pureed meals have been created. Our leading dietician has been involved with the development of the products and it is great that patients will now be able to receive these meals. We are only too aware of the difficulties Dysphagia patients face, and it’s a positive step to be able to bring comfort to those Jewish patients by providing Kosher options.”

We estimate that around 600 meals a month will be required to start with. Overtime we expect this to increase. The cost of these meals to the NHS is more expensive than a standard non-kosher meal. This reflects the price of the ingredients and the production process. Jewish Care will make a small margin that will be reinvested into the organisation’s care services.

Jewish Care hope that this new contract will be the first of many. The launch event will be attended by other health and social care providers all of whom will be urged to talk to make contact if they are in need of kosher specialist food.

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