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Moffat Helps Bring Revolution in Meal Service Catering to Pilgrim Hospital, Boston

Catering at the large Pilgrim Hospital in Boston, Lincs, was made dramatically easier last year. After 15 years with an old, plated, patient meal system, the 550-bed site - part of the major United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust - switched to a new a bulk regeneration service using equipment supplied by E & R Moffat.

And the transition to Moffat's regeneration trolleys has help to improve patients' food choice at the hospital, say the managers behind the change.

Pilgrim Hospital's catering team continues to produce its own cook-chill meals, from a central production unit, using locally sourced ingredients wherever possible. But the hospital's facilities manager, Clive Marriott, says that while they were able to serve good food under the old system, reheating caused major difficulties.

"With the old system, the meals were plated up cold in the kitchen, transported and then reheated on the ward," Clive Marriott points out. "The food we provided was always good but the meals tended to dry out on the plate. This could make the crockery hard to wash and vegetables would turn soggy and discolour under the steel lids."

In the new system the food is transferred chilled, in bulk, in food shuttle buses to satellite ward kitchens. Then, at mealtimes it is reheated in Moffat's hostess regeneration trolleys and plated at time of serving on the wards. By ensuring that it's freshly plated, the hospital can ensure that the food looks and tastes better.

"The new system has made a tremendous difference to the quality of the food," Clive says now. "The Moffat trolleys control the temperature to prevent burning or drying out, and effectively finish the cooking process on the ward. So dishes such as cottage pie and lasagne have nice crisp tops and the vegetables can be served al dente, if that's what we want."

Site Catering Manager John Spencer, responsible for implementing the system, says another big benefit has been to the way the hospital now serves the meals. "Basically we've turned the clock back to provide the sort of personalised service patients enjoyed 20 or 30 years ago," he points out. "Housekeeping staff are on hand to serve them with whatever they fancy on the day and with the portion size they want, straight from the trolley."

When the new system was introduced, he adds, each ward had a chef on hand to give advice and assistance. "But the housekeepers took to it very quickly and now they are enjoying the positive feedback and interaction with the patients.

"It also gives the chefs far more involvement with the patients and their individual requirements than before and they are always happy to pop up to the ward as needed." And dishwashing, too, is now easier, since the food no longer dries out on the plates.

The Moffat Bulk Food Trolleys at the heart of the Pilgrim Hospital system are designed with flexibility built in, and can also be supplied as heated, ambient or refrigerated models. All units have digital temperature control and display for each compartment, and come pre-wired with plug and cable, needing only a 13 amp socket.

The trolleys are manufactured from 304 grade stainless steel throughout, with attractive wipe-clean crevice-free interiors for hygienic, easy cleaning. Moffat supplies them with large 150mm precision-bearing castors, two with brakes, for easy manoeuvring, and a host of options are available to suit individual locations.

E & R Moffat is one of the UK's leading manufacturers of quality foodservice equipment, designing and manufacturing in-house. Based in Bonnybridge, Scotland, the company manufactures standard and bespoke servery, regeneration and storage equipment with a full nationwide after-sales engineering team. E & R Moffat is accredited to ISO 9001:2000 and many of the products have gas approvals and are EMC tested. For more information on E & R Moffat visit the website on

Posted on Wed 29th Jul 2009