Jell-No! Hospital Chow Goes Upscale

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 3, 2009 2:24 PM CDT
The old version of hospital food.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – If an industry group's cooking competition is any indication, the Wall Street Journal reports, hospital food ain’t what it used to be. This year's winner of the National Society for Healthcare Foodservice Management's gold medal produced a “Machaca Flat Iron Steak” that met with his hospital nutritionist’s approval and cost less than $5 to make. “Chefs in health care are the most misunderstood people,” a former champ says.

“People think we slop gruel on trays,” the former winner continues. But no: “It can be creative. It can dazzle,” says a society official. “We have chefs that can compete with the best of them.” At the winner's Colorado workplace, people with no business at the hospital come in off the street just for the cafeteria. “People go because the quality of the food is top-shelf,” says one satisfied customer.