Portiuncula Hospital in Ballinasloe has once again been awarded the Happy Heart award from the Irish Heart Foundation.
This marks the third year in a row in which the Irish Heart Foundation has bestowed this award on Portiuncula University Hospital.
The Happy Heart award recognises the ongoing work that is done at the hospital to promote healthy eating in the workplace.
Patricia O’Donoghue, Catering Manager at Portiuncula Hospital said that “We were absolutely delighted when we received the Gold Happy Heart award again this year.”
“There are strict criteria set out for us to follow in order to be able to apply for the award and our catering department was assessed by an independent dietician.”
She explained that assessment for the award looks at a range of factors including overall food choice, counter layout, food preparation practices, and portion sizes.
Also taken into consideration in the food they produce are measures taken to reduce fat, sugar, and salt consumption and increase the intake of fibre, fruit, and vegetables.
“Our aim is to enable staff make healthier choices and recognise the benefits of healthy eating.”
We use fresh produce and cook it to maximise flavour. We do not add sauces to the dishes but serve them on the side so the flavours of the freshly cooked food can speak for themselves.”
“We also provide a daily salad bar to expand the healthy options for staff,” Patricia added.
Employers that encourage healthy eating report reduced staff sickness absence and turnover, increased productivity and employee satisfaction, and fewer accidents and injuries according to the Heart Foundation.
Patricia O’Donghue said that this award “is not about calories or dieting but rather raising the awareness of good healthy food to promote long term good health and a happier and healthier workforce.”
photo: Catering Department staff at Portiuncula University Hospital