How to help nursing homes reduce food waste?

There are more than 900 nursing homes in Norway that account for 40 000 occupants. 80% of the care centers occupants are long-term residents. That means there are approximately 11.6 million hot meals served annually. Elderly care centers produce nearly 72% of all food waste produced in the public sector.

We are here to help! In this post, you will find tips on how to make food management in care centers more sustainable and how to reduce the amount of food being wasted.

Collect data

Perhaps the most important step, collect data and analyze results! Start by taking measurements. Get to know the scale of the food waste in your facility and control your progress over time.

This also includes observations. Do you know which kind of meals and what type of food are discarded the most by elderly care center residents? Is it meat / vegetarian / vegetables / pasta or desserts?

Identify at which stage the food is wasted the most: 

  • Storing – improper storage temperature and missed expiration dates
  • Preparation – leftovers after the preparation process 
  • Serving – serving too big portions

What kind of details can help you to reduce the amount of food being wasted?

  • Order food in accordance with current capacity. If you cooperate with Central Kitchen in your Municipality, make sure you update a number of the residents regularly.
  • Do nursing home residents eat less than expected? If you are observing a large amount of discarded food, review the recipes you use and make changes to the number of ingredients.
  • Research from the University of Stavanger shows that replacing dinnerware in elderly care centers from white to colored increases food intake by care center residents. That could help in both malnutrition problems prevention as well as reducing food waste.

TotalCtrl introduces software that improves inventory management in the nursing home. Gain control, make food management easier and faster, reach sustainable goals, and get valuable time to focus on helping patients that need you.

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