The Healthy Catering Guidelines for Staff and Visitors in Health-care Facilities was published by the Department in 2002. Guidelines for Preventing Under-Nutrition in Acute Hospitals were published by the Department of Health in August 2008. These guidelines are helping to achieve the recommendations outlined in the Council of Europe report, Food and Nutritional Care in Hospitals: How to Prevent Under-Nutrition. Making healthy and nourishing food choices easily accessible to patients in acute hospitals can help reduce the incidence of under-nutrition in Irish hospitals and greatly benefit patients.
Caterers play an important role in helping patients to make healthy and nourishing food choices. Together with hospital dietitians, they can create a supportive environment for healthy nutrition. All food staff, by ensuring that patients eat well, help to improve both their physical and mental health, and thus speed up their recovery from illness.