With 900 meals prepared daily, Worcester Medical Center knows the challenges of food safety. Yet a cook-chill method and a transportation system with a Thermo King refrigeration unit ensure the food center safely meets demands.
This new healthcare facility in Worcester MA has two campuses: one housing St Vincent's hospital, the other a nursing home. To maximize staff and space, building designers consolidated food preparation for patients in one location. Food now must be transported safely from one location to another.
At St Vincent's, food is cooked to 90% doneness and then "blast-chilled." This process moves food quickly through the temperature danger zone of 40 to 140 F. Once chilled, food is plated onto trays and held at a constant refrigerated temperature below 40 F, a mandatory maximum temperature according to food safety regulations.
A refrigerated truck hauls chilled meals from St Vincent's to two other campus locations. At one building, a 20-foot truck box, equipped with a lift system and a Thermo King KD-250 SR refrigeration unit, is hoisted to a second-story drop point. Once food has reached its destination, it is reheated and served.