In hospitals, meeting cleanliness requirements is vital. Hospital kitchens aim to meet the diverse nutritional requirements of the patients, promoting patient satisfaction is met avoiding cross-contamination. Therefore, creating hospital commercial kitchens must address these needs while fostering efficiency in delivering food to its diverse clientele.
Designing the Healthcare Kitchen
When designing a hospital kitchen, it is essential to consider its menu. The types of dishes inform the type of equipment required for the space. The kitchen must meet the staffing needs, patients, and visitors’ needs. Hence, the commercial kitchen must foster safe and quick serving needs. Since the kitchen address the dietary needs of all patients, having allergen-safe areas is vital in preventing cross-contamination. These spaces are often referred to as ‘purple stations; as they contain tools and equipment that prepare allergen-free meals. Therefore, having such spaces ensures there is no cross-contamination.
Planning the Kitchen Layout
The presence of diverse clients requires a space that would promote food safety and optimal efficiency. It is ideal to have an assembly line layout in kitchens with more straightforward menus. This ensures that food is prepared quickly. However, in this layout, it is common for allergy cross-contamination to occur. Therefore, combining this with a purple station would be ideal to ensure people with special dietary needs have different food preparation zones.
It would also be ideal for the hospital to organize equipment along the walls. Having an island in the middle also allows cooks to move around the kitchen as they create the varied menu.
Allergen restrictions common in commercial kitchens require hospitals to have dual storage and shelving options. Doing so prevents conventional foods from landing on allergen-free ingredients. Therefore, it would be ideal to have shelves and storage areas separated to ensure cross-contamination of ingredients does not occur.
Just like other commercial kitchens, a commercial hospital kitchen will require the following:
- Prep tables
- Metal shelves for walk-in cooling systems
- Bread pans
- Freezer (upright or walk-in)
- Cooking ranges
- Steam tables
- Stand mixers
The hospital kitchen’s equipment will change based on the prepared menu. Therefore, considering the menu options served is vital in considering the type of equipment to acquire. For the storage units, it is recommended to have walk-in systems to prevent cases of cross-contamination.
Other Factors to Consider
Hospital kitchen equipment will also change if the hospital incorporates a cafeteria, coffee bar, or food cart to serve the local community or caregivers. One good rule is to have a purple station for the patient menu and prepare the rest of the food separately. Doing so will ensure food can be prepared quickly, meets patient satisfaction needs, and contributes to the sanitary requirements of the space.
Involving external support may also ensure that you meet these critical requirements quickly. Our experts at Merican Limited deal in commercial kitchen layouts and equipment. Reach out to our team for a consult on designing Kenya’s hospital kitchen and equipment. Our experience in the field guarantees client satisfaction.