Food packaging is a major barrier to nutrition. If patients Can't open it, they can't eat the food!
One in two patients in hospital have some form of malnutrition*, which can double hospital stays and triple complications. Over 80% of elderly patients experience difficulties or cannot open one or more food packaging items. Nearly 50% of patients of all ages struggle to open the food packaging of an average of three items.
Only one in three patients who experienced difficulty opening packaging asked for assistance, according to a 2014 study in a Tasmanian hospital, so its critical consumers receive packaging they can open.
Using Packaging Accessibility Ratings allows IHHC members to make an informed decision on what products are easy or hard to open and helps remove a major barrier to nutrition. It enables patients to retain their dignity, by not having to ask for assistance or leaving food to go uneaten. Hard to open packaging also contributes to increased food waste, because consumers are unable to open it.
*Nutrition Matters -Diagnostic Report - Northern Sydney & Central Coast Health District 2007
#According to multiple patient studies in NSW Hospitals 2011-2015, HealthShare NSW 2015