Anyone had 'Hospital' food lately?

Joined Jan 25, 2013
so my left knee blew out and I had a metal and plastic one installed in the afternoon.  it was 2AM the next day before I wanted food.  so I ring for the nurse, expecting saltines and ginger ale.  imagine my surprise when she hands me a menu and a phone.  25 minutes later, my made to order meal is delivered.  the food was freshly cooked, tasty, and a decent portion.  the cost was part of the daily hospital charge which is the same whether you eat once a day or four times a day.  the menu offered beef, pork, chicken, turkey and vegetarian dishes, although it didn't have aardvark fricassee or toadfish sushi.

Is this the new norm or did i just get lucky picking hospitals?

I post this partly for wHiTePnOi who is concerned that cooking in a hospital hurt his career and destroy his passion for cooking.  the hospital I was at had 6 entrees that were always on the menu and 6 entrees that changed every week, repeating every month.  I would think cooking there would be similar to many restaurants.
Joined Feb 17, 2010
My father spent time in and out of different hospitals recently, rehab places the food was Horrible, in the major hospital food was as you described. Just pick up the phone and order 24hrs a day.
Joined Dec 18, 2010
Good food at hospitals seems the norm these days in the US. Only exception is the special diets. Cardiac diet food is tasteless. No salt. The puréed food, believe it or not, was tasty but the texture is a bit off-putting. The availability of options shocks me, as does the speed with which the hospital catering can respond to individual needs. Very impressive overall.
Joined May 5, 2010
I was also in a large city hospital when my sister passed just this past December. Both the hospital and the hospice wing had amazing food.
Joined Jun 27, 2012
For the last decade or so all the hospitals being built (in my area at least) have mostly private rooms with a big screen tv and the usual window seats can now convert into a "sofa bed" to encourage family and friends to stay overnite.

Mostly for infection control (no sharing of bathrooms) but the studies also found having someone familiar around decreased hospital days billed out to the insurance companies.

As well as less pain meds needed (IDK about family would drive me to the edge of asking for more lol).

About the boards finally started really studying the post treatment surveys and little by little all things dietary slowly improved.

Menus and room service is what came from hiring consultants from within the hospitality industry.

I guess they are starting to get it right.

Joined Feb 8, 2009
The thing most people will remember about their stay in the Hospital is the food. They will also brag or complain it. If I'm going into a hospital for a procedure I would remember the comments I hear about each hospital in my area. Why would I pick a hospital with bad food. The only thing anyone has to look forward to is eating. The reason why this changed over the years is because of competition. I have three hospitals within 10 miles of my house. These places need to fill beds. Just think of all the things they have to do to, or could do, to get you into their hospital. Making the food good s/b a no brainer when your paying 1000's per day. Nursing homes still have a problem, but Senior living/ assisted living do a good job. In some places they have Gourmet dining with a Sunday brunch. It's all about competition. This is what the theory is with replacing Obama care. If you put competition in the field of healthcare and your able to buy health insurance across state lines there will be lower prices. We are all hoping this theory woks just as well as the competition with picking a hospital because of it's quality services. You will also see a big change in health care services like CT scans and other procedures that can be done outside the hospital. I can already see the ad in the newspaper " CT Scan $350 walk-ins welcome" Competition is a wonderful thing for the consumer. Soon, health care services will be so competitive that once expensive procedures will be !00's to 1000's less than they used to be. In 1990 I was a Chef in a small community hospital. I build the menu and cafe quality to a higher level. The food was so good I had people coming from outside the hospital to eat dinner. This theory also worked in my Business with Employees cafeterias. When a business shows they care enough about their employees to give them low prices and quality food. The employee will be proud to work in, and brag about, the environment they work in.......ChefBillyB
Joined Jan 25, 2013
don't know about ACA care, I have DOD care which restricts me to one local hospital/physician group.  admission to discharge was just over 48 hours.  my daughter-in-law works for a different hospital and tells me patient reviews are tallied and the results help determine how much the hospital gets from Medicare and related programs.

being able to get 'Real' food when I wanted it did improve my morale.  don't know if the food was from contracted caterer or in-house.  because of the choices allowed, i suspect more food is being eaten and less thrown away.
Joined Mar 21, 2008
I have had 3 inpatient hospital stays. First 2 were typical bad hospital food served on their schedule, I called a friend and had him smuggle in chinese takeout for those 2 stays so I had a decent meal. Last stay was overnight for my neck fusion. I was early morning surgery and around 6 I was hungry. They had skipped me for meals thinking my throat would be to sore but I asked for food so they handed me a menu. Meatloaf, mashed potatoes with gravy, steamed green beans sounded easy to swallow so I ordered it. The food was good old fashioned home cooking. Meatloaf was scratch made, potatoes were not instant, gravy was a mix but edible, and the beans amazed me, they steamed fresh green beans! I expected the typical overcooked mushy green beans but these were perfectly cooked, tiny bit of crunch to them, some garlic added...

Next morning I had a choice of oatmeal, cold cereal, pancakes, waffles, eggs, bacon, toast... went with scrambled eggs(were not powdered!), 4 strips of bacon, toast, and they even had V8 for me which is my breakfast juice of choice. Eggs were done just right, not runny but not dried out, bacon was just crispy instead of greasy soggy, toast was hot... again good home cooking!
Joined Jun 27, 2012
 toast was hot...
I love toast...'specially when it comes from a loaf of "day old" bread...sliced thick and toasted until a dark golden brown (my current fave is a cranberry walnut peasant style "dusted" with extra large sugar granules from the local HEB bakery) under the oven broiler.

Slathered with softened butter and a good jam .... not too picky re the jam but will always choose peach if I made it myself.

Hospital toast is a misnomer (glad to hear there are now pockets of resistance :)

Cold and soggy...MAYBE a faint tan color.


Joined Sep 8, 2015
A few years back I was at hospitals with two family members.  They ordered off a menu and everything they ordered was very good, and the food in the cafeteria was very good as well.  
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