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December 5, 2017

Decade of service reaps rewards

OUR Tauranga Hospital team celebrated 10 years of committed food services on 1 November! Of the 54-strong team, eight people have been there from day one.

As one of the ‘original eight’, Operations Manager Greg Oliver has seen many positive changes, including transformation of the retail cafés, Ground Floor Café and the Staff Café in July 2017.

“The Staff Café revamp has been a hit and our new salad bar is popular. We’re also able to keep food fresher and warmer with the new Hot Deck,” says Greg, adding that more vegetarian and vegan options are now available.

Each day, the busy team: cooks on average 900 patient meals; serves around 600 café customers; prepares fine food for special functions; and, prepares 50 Meals on Wheels meals.

“Our hospital kitchen team of 21 works under the guidance of Catering to You Supervisor Binnie Kemara; our retail café has four people; our DHB staff café is operated by six people, along with Supervisor Kim Russell. Krista Geary oversees daily function catering,” says Greg.

The team launched its menu on 31 July for Staff Café and feedback has been good. New hot dishes include grilled Mediterranean style fish with couscous, chicken tagine and herb quinoa, and beef cumberland pie with potato and cheese crust. Fresh salads include pumpkin lentil and feta, Chorizo, olives and pasta, and pulled pork and Vietnamese salad.

Coming up is the annual Bay of Plenty District Health Board rooftop Christmas Luncheon.

“Everyone loves this event, which is a combined effort covering preparation, setting up of tents, dining and theming. On the day, we serve about 1,500 people in a carnival atmosphere feasting on traditional fare, fresh seafood, flavoursome salads and delicious desserts,” says Greg, adding that energetic runners transport food from the kitchen to the roof over two hours.

“As important as this event is, so too are our patients. Despite being busy, this remains at the heart of what we do and we try to provide the best service we can to assist with a patient’s recovery. It is very rewarding being at the frontline and part of the patient’s healing process.”



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