University Hospital Galway wins Irish Heart Healthy Eating GOLD Award

The Restaurant at University Hospital Galway is now the very proud recipient of the Irish Heart Healthy Eating Gold Award.

The Gold standard Award was presented to the team at the UHG Restaurant for healthy catering practices and promoting a range of healthy choices. The restaurant, which is run by Aramark, has a commitment to maintaining high quality food offerings and healthy options on its menu.



The restaurant recently had a recertification audit by the Irish Heart to retain their Happy Heart Healthy Eating Award. UHG not only retained the Happy Heart award but also achieved the Gold standard.



The Healthy Eating Award is valid for two years and in 2016 Irish Heart introduced an innovative new grading system of Gold, Silver and Bronze to its long-standing Happy Heart at Work Healthy Eating Award for staff restaurants. This new departure is designed to encourage companies to set their targets high, continue to promote healthy living and strive for the Gold medal standard.



Companies can apply for Bronze, Silver or Gold levels but must meet specific criteria. This new approach further increases standards in healthy catering and menus and builds on success already achieved over the programme’s twenty years.



The award recognises the work that Jacquie Cooney and all the catering team have been doing to encourage a healthier and more balance approach to eating.



Elbha Purcell, Aramark Company Dietician said “Aramark is absolutely delighted to not only retain the Irish Heart Healthy Eating award but also to win the Gold standard! The role of food in everyday life is so important to the impact of overall health, especially in an area like a hospital where people recover and good nutritional content is vital.

Elbha continued “Our Healthy for Life programme has been so well received by both patients and staff at UHG because it makes staying healthy easier everyday with healthy, nutritious and delicious options. We are so proud to win this prestigious award and would like to extend our highest congratulations to the team on the ground.”



Some of the required criteria include:

• Calories are displayed on all menus.

• Ensuring a good availability of food options low in fat, especially saturated fat.

• At least 3 chip-free days a week.

• High fibre choices.

• More fruit and vegetable choices.

• Hot or cold pastries are not offered at least two days a week.

• More than 50% of beverages available in the dining area are healthier choices i.e. water, unsweetened fruit juice and diet drinks than unhealthier choices i.e. sugar-sweetened soft drinks, sugar-sweetened fruit juices, juice drinks.

• Beans, peas or lentils are offered in hot or cold dishes most days of the week.

• Offer food within recommended portion size.



In 2015 the Health Service Executive introduced a Calorie Posting Policy to enable staff and visitors to make healthier choices when purchasing food. Aramark is committed to working with the Health Service Executive across all contracted health sites, to support the implementation of this policy and provide healthier food choices to staff.

Frank Gleeson, Managing Director of Aramark’s Food Services said “It’s a fantastic achievement and a wonderful accolade for University Hospital Galway, Jacquie Cooney, and the restaurant team, who do an exceptional job in providing delicious and healthy meals on a daily basis.”



Frank continued “Eating healthily is very important and we wanted to show our customers that we were meeting their demands for healthy food. We will continue to develop our menu and promote healthy eating to our customers and we look forward to maintaining the gold award in the future.”



-ENDS-



About Aramark NE

Aramark is a leading integrated services supplier of facilities management, food, property and energy services in Ireland. Aramark employs over 16,000 people throughout Northern Europe. Aramark is recognised among the Most Admired Companies by FORTUNE and the World’s Most Ethical Companies by the Ethisphere Institute.



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