ATLANTA, Nov. 1, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Atlanta-based Morrison announced today it has become the industry's first healthcare food service company to commit to implementation of its comprehensive wellness platform across all of its healthcare business. The move is designed to make healthcare institutions models of healthful eating and to encourage behavioral change in the hospital environment and beyond. Serving approximately 550 hospitals and integrated healthcare systems across the country, Morrison's commitment along with that of its clients will make hospital food healthier than it has ever been – impacting up to 300 million hospital meals annually.
As part of this broad platform which includes everything from supply chain changes to environmental commitments, Morrison is implementing firm standards for healthy food marketing, wellness meal offerings, nutrition labeling, food preparation, healthy beverage offerings and amounts of fruits and vegetables offered. "This is a massive undertaking," says Peggy O'Neill, vice president nutrition and wellness, "and while much of it is in the works already, full implementation will be completed by mid-2014 ."
Morrison has been at the forefront of the industry on health and wellness for more than two decades with a wellness philosophy of offering wholesome, nutritious, and flavorful meals to the nation's hospitals and healthcare institutions. "Rising healthcare costs and lost productivity within the healthcare setting and community are driving the demand for prevention-based programs," explained Tim Pierce, president, Morrison. "By implementing these changes nationally, we are making healthful choices easy and accessible to millions of patients, staff and visitors."
Morrison has recently released and is in the process of implementing its new menu which includes a 44% reduction of sodium and a 33% reduction in calories from traditional fare. Using the latest research on healthful eating and incorporating techniques that influence behavioral change in food consumption, Morrison will:
- offer better-for-you foods at cash registers in place of high impulse low-nutrient food
- eliminate 5.7 million pounds of sugar from bottled beverages
- switch to exclusive use of whole grain or legume based pasta in the 3.7 million pounds of pasta it serves each year
- offer whole grains as an alternative to the 1.9 million pounds of rice served annually
- use misted olive oils exclusively in appropriate applications
- feature images of healthy nutrient-rich food in its regular marketing promotions