The Irish Heart Foundation has awarded the Silver Happy Heart to Letterkenny University Hospital in recognition of the ongoing work there to promote healthy eating.
Mark Duffy, Catering Manager at the hospital said they are ‘absolutely delighted’ to have received the recognition.
“There are strict criteria set out for us to follow in order to be able to apply for the award and our catering department was assessed by an independent dietician,” he explained.
The assessment looked at the overall food choice, counter layout, food preparation practices, portion sizes and measures taken to reduce fat, sugar and salt and increase fibre fruit and vegetables.
“Our aim is to enable staff to make healthier choices and recognise the benefits of healthy eating,” Mr Duffy added.
“We use fresh produce and cook it to maximise flavour. We do not add sauces to the dishes but serve them on the side so the flavours of the freshly cooked food can speak for themselves. We also provide a daily salad bar to expand the healthy options for staff.
“The award is not about calories or dieting but rather raising the awareness of good healthy food to promote long term good health and a happier and healthier workforce.”
Sean Murphy, Hospital Manager welcomed the award stating it recognises the commitment and hard work of the catering staff in ensuring that food menus in the restaurant meet the recommended guidelines set out by the Irish Heart Foundation and The Department of Health. “The mission of this hospital is to deliver health with care and we endeavour to do this by promoting healthy lifestyles including a healthy diet for patients and staff.”
Main photo, from left: Mark Duffy, Catering Manager; Caroline Wilkins, Catering Attendant; Mary Neely, Catering Attendant; Christine Wallace, Junction Restaurant Supervisor; Elaine Nelis. Executive Chef; Martin Cannon, Chef and Charlene Harkin, Chef.