Is Your Healthcare Facility Equipped to Handle the Elimination of Communal Dining?

After the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services instructed healthcare facilities to eliminate communal dining, healthcare foodservice operators are having to quickly adapt to a new way of serving their residents. In-room dining may not be the type of service your facility is used to doing and the transition might feel uncomfortable. By using the right equipment, your operation can quickly get back on track.  We rounded up the best products for in-room dining and the safest ways to complete service depending on the type of facility you operate.

Assisted Living

Residents are likely used to coming down to the dining room to be served a pre-prepared or limited cook-to-order menu during mealtimes. Transform your operation into in-room dining by emulating the idea of delivery. If you typically have a cook-to-order format, provide menus to your residents each morning to allow them to send in their orders ahead of time. EPP180XLTSW110_A1RK_0519_s02Prepare meals in the kitchen as you usually would, but instead of plating, package meals in disposable containers and place inside an insulated transport unit. Cambro’s Cam GoBoxes and Delivery GoBags are both lightweight and temperature retentive for at least four hours. Staff can easily load and carry GoBoxes or GoBags to each room for quick and easy distribution. When it’s time to clean-up, reduce face-to-face contact by asking residents to place their trash outside of their rooms. Staff members, donned with gloves, can then pick up trash safely. This method also ensures residents are eating out of containers that haven’t been used by anyone else previously.

Long-Term Care/Skilled Nursing Home

It wasn’t too long ago that long-term care facilities solely delivered meals to residents in their rooms. Since then, your facility has likely transitioned to communal dining, with a small number of residents still receive their meals in their rooms. Since most long-term care facilities were initially designed to support a hospital-style tray line, it is possible for your operation to switch gears without difficulty when supported by the right products. Although it may seem daunting to go from using 10 to 15 trays to potentially 300, we outline what you need for success to the change easier:

Essential Products:

1418DCET825_A1LK_0919_s06Healthcare Trays: Cambro offers a variety of healthcare trays to support your operation. Choose Cambro trays with a non-skid surface for maximum efficiency, safety, money-saving and decreased waste. Designed with safety and style in mind, non-skid trays are made with a non-slip surface that will not wear out or wash off. Drinks and meals are protected during transport, removing the need for costly tray mats that end up in the trash.

Heat Keeper Insulating System: Residents likely understand the reason their meal service method has changed, but they won’t be as accepting of unintentionally cold food. Extend hot temperature holding time by at least 20 minutes and maintain food quality by using Cambro’s Heat Keeper Insulating Base system, comprised of a Heat Keeper Base and Shoreline Insulated Dome Lid. Shorline Heat Keeper layerThis system is ideal for short distance deliveries and works especially well when used in conjunction with a plate heater. Cambro’s Camtherm® Plate Heater is a low-profile ergonomic design unit that features two self-leveling plate dispensers equipped to hold a total of 100 ceramic/china plates. The Camtherm Plate Heater features independent temperature control for each silo, providing energy savings and reliable, even heating throughout the unit.

Insulated Mugs and Bowls and Lido Tumblers with Disposable CamLids: Insulated Mugs and Bowls and Lido Tumblers topped with Cambro’s Disposable CamLids keep drinks and sides safe and at the right temperature. Adding Cambro Disposable CamLids on mugs and Lido Tumblers adds an extra barrier against the spread of bacteria from drinking surfaces. Elevate the look of your tray top presentation by choosing Cambro’s Harbor Collection in white. Designed to look like ceramic, this collection is chip and break resistant while giving residents a more formal feel.

Meal Delivery Carts: if you have a small number of meal delivery carts that you typically use to serve a small number of residents, utilize them efficiently by staggering mealtimes. If your operation doesn’t have enough meal delivery carts to successfully execute service, Cambro offers 10, 16, 20, 30 and 60 Tray Meal Delivery Carts to help you get the job done. Cambro’s Meal Delivery Carts are quiet, easy to maneuver and help maintain the quality and temperature of residents’ food during transport.

Bonus Products:

Camduction Complete Heat System: This heating system is designed to perform consistently under the most demanding conditions of healthcare foodservice. In one heating cycle, you have the ability to heat up 20 Camduction bases in approximately 4 to 6 minutes. The heating cycle continues by replacing each charged base with a new one as needed. When you combine a heated base with a properly heated plate and cover it with a Cambro insulated dome, hot foods are maintained at safe temperatures of 140° F (60° C) or higher for up to 60 minutes.

Camduction with tray line photo

Healthcare Drying Racks: Camshelving® Drying and Storage Racks provide sanitary drying and safe handling while offering unmatched versatility. Available in Premium Series and Elements Series, Cambro’s drying racks are the ideal solution to combat wet nesting in your domes, bases and trays in a single, compact footprint. All units are equipped with mobile casters to make maneuvering easy and a lifetime warranty against rust and corrosion.

Drying rack

Cambro products are designed to support the unique needs of the healthcare industry. Committed to providing the safest and most efficient healthcare products, Cambro is here to help your operation navigate adjusting to the new challenges you’re facing. Contact your Cambro rep today to get started today.


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