October 8, 2018

Changing hospital food one menu item at a time

First Farm-to-Fork dish for hospitalized patients launched at the medical center


Efforts to incorporate many of the fresh foods produced right here in the Northern California region into the menu for UC Davis Medical Center patients took a major step forward this week with the first Farm-to-Fork menu item delivered to patients on non-restricted diets.

“Good food is good medicine, and that is what we are trying to provide for our patients,” said UC Davis Health Executive Chef Santana Diaz.

The dinner item, a short-rib sandwich on a house-made bun with chimichurri sauce, is flavorful and nutritious, made with seasonal ingredients using a recipe developed in collaboration with health system nutritionists. It’s a dish that employees and visitors to the medical center may recognize, as it has been a favorite Pavilion café offering over the past five months.

First Farm to Fork menu item for hospitalized patients at UC davis video

With the Food and Nutrition Services team preparing some 18,000 meals a day, not including the 44 different diets that some patients require, Santana said that they’re taking baby steps, with the goal of offering a full complement of Farm-to-Fork fresh menu items.

“We started with this one option and will evolve to include more, from low-sodium, low-carbohydrate and low-fat diets to special meals for kidney patients,” Diaz said.

Offering Farm-to-Fork menu items for patients is a major milestone for UC Davis Health that makes Santana and his whole team smile.