Publication Details

Walton, K. L. & Krassie, J. 2012, 'Measurung Plate Waste in Hospitals', Nutrition and Dietetics, vol. 69, no. 2, pp. 169-173.


It has been suggested that the median plate wastage in hospitals is approximately 30% (range of 6–65%). The level of hospital food wastage is influenced by numerous parameters, including the menu, the setting, diet type, the type of food service distribution system used and its flexibility. Some food wastage is inevitable, as appetites are unpredictable. However, large amounts of food waste have a huge financial cost; and more importantly, it indicates that patients are not likely to be meeting their nutritional requirements. ‘Food is an integral and important part of a patient’s treatment but the food must be consumed if it is to be of value. Furthermore, food prepared and not consumed is a waste of scarce resources’. The purpose of this quiz is to provide dietitians with an overview of useful techniques to measure and interpret plate waste, as well as strategies to advocate for the role of food services in clinical care. The following case scenario provides the background and context for the questions.



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