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Elderly need specialist caterers

27th January 2006

Care home caterers should be specially trained to deal with the demands of the job and to ensure that elderly people are being properly looked after, it has been claimed.

Derek Johnson, vice-chairman of the National Association of Care Caterers (NACC), has argued that a special set of qualifications should be developed for care home caterers, due to the specialist nature of the job.

Mr Johnson told CatererSearch that working as a care home caterer requires specialist training to ensure that dietary constraints and matching food with medication are adhered to, but at present there is no qualification to help such caterers learn these important elements.

He explained: "A new qualification would reinforce the idea that catering in care homes is an important issue."

And his view is shared by Liberal Democrat MP Paul Burstow, who has tabled a private member's bill seeking to introduce minimal standards of nutrition in care homes.

Agreeing with Mr Johnson's comments, Mr Burstow added: "It is clearly of critical importance to delivering good nutrition in care homes and my bill would help put these issues on the agenda."

Mr Burstow is looking to give the Food Standards Agency the power to make definitive rulings on the precise nature of any nutritional standards.