In the world of clinical nutrition management, it’s crucial to provide hospital patients and staff with food that’s healthy and tasty. Those working in a hospital food service need to ensure that meals have a certain nutritional content and are properly portioned, and that there’s enough to go around without creating excess food waste. That’s where recipe standardization comes in handy.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a standardized recipe is one that “has been tried, adapted and retried several times for use by a given foodservice operation and has been found to produce the same good results and yield every time when the exact procedures are used with the same type of equipment and the same quantity and quality of ingredients.”
With healthcare informatics on your side, it’s easier than ever to produce and standardize recipes for your food service operation. But what are some of the benefits of standardizing recipes? And how exactly can you go about doing it? Here’s what you need to know.
The benefits of recipe standardization
There are numerous benefits of recipe standardization, which is why they’re so important – and sometimes even required – for food service management programs. Here are several to consider, though there are even more.
– Quality control: Standardized recipes provide the same high-quality food every time they’re used because they’ve been thoroughly tested and evaluated.
– Portion and yield control: The amount of food that will be produced is the same every time with a standardized recipe, meaning it will reduce leftover food and make shortages much less likely. You’ll get exactly what you need.
– Cost control: It’s easier to manage buying and storing food when you’re using the same ingredients in the same quantities every time a particular recipe is made.
– Patient satisfaction: When you’ve done the research to find the types of foods your customers want, recipe standardization ensures that they get the same quality, presentation and amount that they’re accustomed to each time the meal is served.
– Consistent nutrient content: With so much testing and planning involved in a standardized recipe, you’ll know the exact nutritional content of the food every time it’s prepared, making clinical nutrition management a snap.
– Increased employee confidence: When your cooks are making high-quality meals every time they’re made, they’ll feel more job satisfaction knowing they don’t have to make estimates or risk cooking a sub-par product.
How to standardize a recipe
Once you’re ready to make a new recipe, there are certain steps that need to be taken to ensure that it’s truly standardized. Here’s what you need to do.
– Find a new recipe to make. Survey hospital patients and staff to figure out what they like, or make a new recipe up and have it tested by your customers.
– Figure out the portion size you’ll need. You’ll only need to do this if the portion size isn’t already evident in the initial recipe, in which case you’ll need to calculate measurements.
– Make changes. If you need to make any changes to adjust the taste, texture, cook time or portion, now’s the time to do it before you make the recipe on a larger scale.
– Retest the recipe. Once you make adjustments, try making the recipe again to ensure that it’s satisfactory.
– Develop a clear set of instructions. This should include things like the name of the recipe, the category of the recipe, the exact form of ingredients used, the amount of ingredients used, step-by-step preparation procedures, cooking details, portion sizes, total yield and equipment used. All of this information will ensure that even new cooks will be able to reproduce the recipe without issue.