The St. Joseph-Breese Food Service received a perfect score of 100 following a Nov. 27 inspection by the Clinton County Health Department (CCHD).
“A score of 100 means that patients, visitors and staff can be assured of receiving food that is properly prepared, served and stored,” said Food Service Manager Marilyn Schulte.
The hospital is in the high category which includes full-service restaurants, grocery stores that utilize raw meats and facilities handling foods with specific requirements for storage, heating, cooling and reheating.
In addition to food storage, preparation and serving areas, the CCHD also checks clean-up areas and water temperature to ensure proper sanitation procedures are being followed. All county food establishments are inspected twice a year.
“Proper sanitation is of major importance in preventing the spread of disease and infection,” Schulte said. “We have to be extremely careful that food is properly prepared and dishware is sanitized.”
Staff training is also checked. Continuing education on food service safety and sanitation is provided and many of the full-time food service employees are certified, she said.
Certification means the staff member has passed a 15-hour class on food handling, preparation, serving, receiving and storage; facility maintenance; housekeeping and sanitizing; management responsibilities; pest control; hygiene; food borne illness; use of equipment; safe water supply; time and temperature control.
Inspectors also check for violations of the Illinois Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and/or the Sanitary Inspection Law and Rules promulgated under these acts, she said.
St. Joseph’s in Breese serves almost 400 patient and cafeteria meals a day and provides lunches for Senior Renewal clients at the HealthPlex, volunteer quilters at the Quilting Building, and Head Start.
Food Service at St. Joseph’s in Breese also recently transitioned to a new inpatient meal delivery system called At Your Request or AYR whereby patients can call and order a specific meal off the menu for delivery any time dietary staff are present. Patients and their families have been very pleased with the transition.