ATLANTA, Nov. 1, 2012 /-- Atlanta-based Morrison announced today it has become the industry's first healthcare food service company to commit to implementation of its comprehensive wellness platform across all of its healthcare business. The move is designed to make healthcare institutions models of healthful eating and to encourage behavioral change in the hospital environment and beyond. Serving approximately 550 hospitals and integrated healthcare systems across the country, Morrison's commitment along with that of its clients will make hospital food healthier than it has ever been – impacting up to 300 million hospital meals annually.
As part of this broad platform which includes everything from supply chain changes to environmental commitments, Morrison is implementing firm standards forhealthy food marketing, wellness meal offerings, nutrition labeling, food preparation, healthy beverage offerings and amounts of fruits and vegetables offered. "This is a massive undertaking," says Peggy O'Neill, vice president nutrition and wellness, "and while much of it is in the works already, full implementation will be completed by mid-2014."
Morrison has been at the forefront of the industry on health and wellness for more than two decades with a wellness philosophy of offering wholesome, nutritious, and flavorful meals to the nation's hospitals and healthcare institutions. "Rising healthcare costs and lost productivity within the healthcare setting and community are driving the demand for prevention-based programs," explained Tim Pierce, president, Morrison. "By implementing these changes nationally, we are making healthful choices easy and accessible to millions of patients, staff and visitors."
Morrison has recently released and is in the process of implementing its new menu which includes a 44% reduction of sodium and a 33% reduction in calories from traditional fare. Using the latest research on healthful eating and incorporating techniques that influence behavioral change in food consumption, Morrison will:
- offer better-for-you foods at cash registers in place of high impulse low-nutrient food
- eliminate 5.7 million pounds of sugar from bottled beverages
- switch to exclusive use of whole grain or legume based pasta in the 3.7 million pounds of pasta it serves each year
- offer whole grains as an alternative to the 1.9 million pounds of rice served annually
- use misted olive oils exclusively in appropriate applications
- feature images of healthy nutrient-rich food in its regular marketing promotions
In addition, Morrison will enhance the wellness environment through in-hospital events such as cooking demonstrations, seasonal tables, and on-site Farmer's Markets as well as community events such as community cooking demonstrations, healthy eating DVDs, a community website, wellness teaching kitchens, and wellness summits.
"Our goal is to continue to bring unique solutions to help hospitals meet the nation's healthcare challenges," said Pierce. "As the first to implement such a comprehensive wellness platform, we will once again lead the industry in a cultural change that will make healthful choices the standard in our country's healthcare institutions."
In 2010 Morrison became the first national contractor to sign the Healthy Food in Healthcare Pledge from Healthcare Without Harm. Morrison has also implemented the purchase of rBGH free dairy products, meat without the prophylactic use of hormones as well as working directly with suppliers to eliminate added trans fats and to reduce sodium in food processing.
Morrison, a member of Compass Group, is the nation's only food service company exclusively dedicated to providing food, nutrition and dining services to the healthcare industry. With more than 1,300 registered dietitians, 450 executive chefs and 19,000 professional food service team members, Morrison is actively committed to fostering ways to enjoy great-tasting, healthy food through socially responsible practices and superior customer service. The Atlanta-based company serves approximately 550 hospitals and integrated healthcare systems in the United States. Visit www.IamMorrison.com for more information.