Celebrity chef Maggie Beer joins forces with Federal Government to improve food standards in aged care

Aug 31, 2023
In addition to joining forces with Beer, the government recently made a $12.9 million promise to improve nutrition in the aged care sector. Source: Getty Images.

The Albanese Government is making sure that older Australians in aged care enjoy delicious and nutritious meals, all thanks to a free training program designed for cooks and chefs working in aged care facilities.

By investing $5 million in the Maggie Beer Foundation, the government is supporting the free Improving Food in Aged Care through an education and training program.

The opportunity is open for all aged care providers, encouraging everyone to work together to improve the food and nutrition standards across the entire sector.

Program opportunities include:

  • Online learning modules
  • Food Satisfaction Questionnaire
  • State and Territory Training Hubs
  • Trainer Mentor Program
  • Professional Community.

Beer said she was “thrilled” to join forces with the government to improve the dining experience for those in aged care.

“Food is nutrition not just for the body, but also for the soul. It’s what fires our appetite for life,” she said.

“The Maggie Beer Foundation is thrilled to partner with the Department of Health and Aged Care to provide opportunities for every chef and cook working in residential aged care to improve food, nutrition, and dining experiences for older people.”

Minister for Aged Care, Anika Wells said teaming up with Beer was part of the government’s “approach to help providers and workers upskill and be better educated so they can prepare and serve more delicious and nutritious food to the older people in their care.”

“Food, nutrition and the dining experience have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life and that’s why we have partnered with The Maggie Beer Foundation to deliver this training,” she said.

“The free Improving Food in Aged Care through Education and Training program is an important step forward in ensuring all older people in residential aged care have access to nourishing food that they enjoy and improves their wellbeing.”

Participation in the three-year program will also help residential aged care homes meet the draft dedicated food and nutrition Aged Care Quality Standard currently being piloted.

In addition to joining forces with Beer, the government recently made a $12.9 million promise to improve nutrition in the aged care sector, over 700 checks will be carried out to ensure that aged care providers are serving meals that are delicious and provide the appropriate nutrition needed for their clients.

Nutrition experts and dietitians will also be assessing up to 500 menus from nursing home providers to ensure that its residents are receiving nutritionally balanced meals.

The initiatives will be complimented with a new hotline unit called the Food, Nutrition, and Dining Advisory Support, which will be established within the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission.

According to Council of the Ageing Australia CEO Patricia Sparrow, the hotline aims to help standardise the quality of food being served to Australia’s ageing population.

“Nursing homes have variable quality, so some places do really excellent meals and some have had less than desirable meals,” Sparrow recently told 6PR Breakfast.

“We know it’s a really important thing for older people living in residential care.”

Wells said the new support hotline showed the government’s commitment to improving the quality of life for aged care residents.

“Older people have a right to enjoy quality food and will now have a simple way to report inadequate food,” Wells said.

“[This new funding] will increase the capability and accountability of aged-care providers to deliver good food and nutrition.”

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