Considerations for care home designs

Here at GS Group, we were proud to work with a high number of care homes throughout the pandemic, and we’re even prouder to continue our work with this sector in 2021.

2020 taught us the importance of caring for those most vulnerable, so the contracts we acquire we take with a great deal of responsibility to ensure the kitchen designs we complete are well equipped to exceed the rigorous standards that care home kitchens have to adhere to.

We fully appreciate the requirements needed to keep a kitchen fully operational, maintaining high food and safety regulations, adhering to dietary needs, all while serving food to residents at the same time. That’s why, when we take on work with a care home facility, we ensure our appliances are fully checked, scrutinised and comply with the catering staff’s needs.

In this blog, we will explore some of those special considerations GS Group abide by for care home facilities:

Regulations

It’s key that any commercial kitchen within a care home meets the Care Quality Commission (CQC) Standards, an independent care home regulator that monitors and inspects services to make sure facilities meet fundamental standards of quality and safety.

This means that when we work on a care home project, we consider how the kitchen will aid care home catering staff and how the kitchen will adhere to the National Minimum Standard (NMS), Infection Control Policies and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point Principles, in order to keep residents safe.

Food Hygiene

Elderly residents are more likely to suffer from food poisoning and become seriously ill because of their weakened immune system’s ability to fight off infection, which means there has to be a greater level of scrutiny when designing a care home kitchen.

As with all commercial kitchens, care home kitchens adhere to ‘food hygiene assessments’ that provide a rating from 0 (urgent improvement needed) to 5 (hygiene standards are very good). The assessment also takes into consideration the condition of equipment and facilities as well as other factors such as appropriate layout, ventilation, hand washing facilities and pest control.

GS Group is fully equipped to ensure the commercial kitchens we work on comply to the highest food hygiene rating. Our experienced sales teams are on hand to choose any new equipment facilities, while our engineers can provide maintenance on any existing equipment that is to be incorporated into the design. This will ensure equipment is safe and robust to deal with the consistently harsh environments that care home kitchens’ face.

Design

As a company, there are a number of considerations we make prior to starting a catering design and this is particularly important in a venue as vital as a care home.

Within the commercial kitchen, the team would place precedence on separating the preparation areas, as this would minimise the risk of cross contamination. Likewise, we would incorporate hands-free taps on basins to help keep hygiene levels high. Exemplary hygiene and correct food preparation is essential for people of any age, but it is even more vital for the elderly, who are more at risk.

Reliable catering equipment is also key for care home caterers, which is why, at GS Group we ensure there is appropriate reinforcement available. For instance, we would incorporate stacked combi ovens within the catering design, so if the oven was to breakdown, there would still be a functioning oven available so caterers could continue providing meal delivery to vulnerable residents.

Space

One of the most common problems care home catering staff face is finding enough storage space to adhere to the array of dietary needs older people require.

Some residents may have very particular dietary needs, where foods need to be stored separately, which in turn would also affect the food hygiene rating.

Here at GS Group, we can facilitate any sized kitchen, large or small, maximising the efficiency and productivity whilst adhering to all rules and regulations.

This is extremely important for food preparation for the elderly, especially when food has to be served to residents at a similar time. The difficulty of this will vary from kitchen to kitchen, as smaller kitchens require more intricate design work for maximum effect.

Fortunately, at GS Group we have all the experience and skill to make this possible.

Get in touch today on 01803 528586 or email sales@gsgroup.co.uk to find out how GS Group can help your care home’s commercial kitchen operation.