Emerging Trends Project

Do Food Service
Workers at Aramark
Accounts Follow Policies
to Reduce Food Waste?
Kate Callahan, Seema Shah, Mary Solheid
Aramark Dietetic Interns

 Definition of food waste
 Why food waste research is needed
 Impact of food waste
 Type of study used in this research
 Methodology used to determine compliancy to
Aramark Policies
 Results
 Conclusion

What is Food Waste?
Food waste can be described as the lack of
consumption of or loss at any time of food
during the processing, purchase or intake of it.

Introduction: Why Research Food Waste
in Aramark Contracted Hospitals?
 Food service operations in hospitals
have a direct impact on sustainability
 Visible
 Accessible
 Determine if Aramark food waste
policies are sufficient and relevant
 Determine if the policies need to be
improved or modified to fit the needs
of current Aramark customers

Why Does Food Waste Need To Be Reduced?
 Amount of wasted food in the U.S. reported as
high as $165.6 billion
 United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
called for an unprecedented nationwide goal of
a 50% reduction of food waste in the U.S. by

Who Affects Food Waste in a Hospital
Food and Nutrition Department?

 Food Service Managers
 Food Service Staf
 Dietitians

Barriers to Effective Food
Waste Practices
 Decision maker food waste beliefs
 Attitudes of food service workers
 Food waste behaviors of food service

Impact of Food Waste
 32% of food prepared for consumption
 61 million tons of food annually wasted
in U.S.
 Swedish study reports 1570 tons of
fresh food wasted in six supermarkets
over three-year period

Aramark Food Waste
Reduction Financial Impact
 Fiscal Year 2012 $6 million impact to
 2% average food cost reduction
 Food waste volume reduced on average
by 20%

How Food Waste Can Be
 Reduce overproduction
 Decrease food surplus
 Adequate knowledge and training of staf
 Policy development and enforcement of

Research Methodology
 Observational study
 Convenience sample of food service workers
 Sample size 65
 No exclusions
 Five Aramark contracted hospitals representing East
Coast, Midwest, and West Coast
 Data collection tool adapted from pre-published
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Food Waste Survey

Areas of Observation


• A total of 65 observations comprised the
study population. Since the policies varied
between foodservice workers’ jobs, the
observations were split into four groups –
receiving, storing, preparation and serving

Results: Receiving
• Overall, the foodservice workers receiving products from various
vendors were compliant
• When presented with refrigerated items, all of the foodservice
workers (85.7%) checked at least two refrigerated items
(14.3% not applicable)
• When presented with frozen food, the majority of foodservice
workers (71.4%) checked the temperatures of frozen foods –
14.3% did not check temperatures and 14.3% not applicable.
• (100%) inspected products upon delivery for quality and
• The biggest discrepancy with the receiving foodservice
workers was not discarding food that had been damaged –
57.1% of employees did not discard food (only 42.9% of
employees discarded the damaged food).

Results: Storage
• Overall, the foodservice workers storing the food were
• 46.7% recorded the freezer temperatures – 53.3% not
applicable. The majority of foodservice workers (46.7%)
recorded the temperature of the refrigerators in the
temperature log – 13.3% did not and 40% no applicable.
• 100% kept the refrigerators and freezers from being
overstocked. The majority of foodservice workers (66.7%)
discarded in the composting buckets – 33.3% of foodservice
workers threw away food in the trash instead.

Results: Storage
• 60% did not record the last required dry storage
temperature in the log – 40% not applicable
• 93.3% disposed of dented and expired products –
6.7% of foodservice workers did not. All of the
foodservice workers (100%) followed FIFO (first in,
first out) technique and maintained an organized
storage area.

Results: Preparation
• The foodservice workers preparing the food were compliant
• 77.3% collected food waste for composting – 22.7% did
not. All of the foodservice workers (100%) documented
food waste on the food waste log during preparation
• 95.5% trimmed fruits, vegetables and meats to
maximize edible portions – 4.5% did not
• 100% followed written recipes, utilized production sheets,
documented servings produced and labeled leftovers
• The biggest non-compliance was that foodservice workers
(40.9%) discarded food into the trash and not the
composting buckets – 54.5% of foodservice workers
discarded food into the composting buckets.

Results: Serving
• the employees serving the food were compliant
• 100% serving the food used suggested serving
utensils listed in the recipe
• The majority of foodservice workers (85.7%)
used appropriate serving sizes as listed in the
recipe – 9.5% did not and 4.8% not applicable
• The majority of foodservice workers (61.9%)
documented food supply for each meal including
leftovers – 38.1% of foodservice workers did not.

Results: Serving
• Unfortunately only 52.4% of employees checked
and documented temperatures during service –
47.6% of employees did not
• The biggest non-compliance was that foodservice
workers (71.4%) discarded food into the trash and
not the composting buckets during service – only
28.6% foodservice employees discarded food in
the composting buckets.

• The food service workers were compliant to
the Aramark food waste policies in the areas
of storage, preparation, serving and
• These results were expected as Aramark
manages the sites where the interns were
doing their observations and internship
rotations and the leadership there is

• Non compliance was seen at individual sites
that included foodservice workers not taking
the dry storage temperature, not
checking/documenting food temperatures
during service and discarding food in
composting bins over trashcans
• Deviations from policy can and will happen
either frequently or from time to time.

Discussion: Ways to improve the study
• Having the study done at only one site
• Observing management enforcement of the policies or their
own training and compliance to the policies
• Performing a training for the employees on Aramark policies
through education or a presentation
• Interviewing the individual workers on their opinions of food
waste policies and whether or not they were compliant to

Discussion: Areas for further study
• Patient food waste or cafeteria customer food waste
• Educating nurses on assisting patients with menu
selections, getting patient food preferences and assisting
with feedings
• Educating cafeteria consumers on good food practices both
when eating out and at home could be done and
diferences in waste could be studied to see its efects
• Focusing on production food waste specifically and ways to
not over produce meals

• This study was important because it assessed whether
or not food service workers were compliant to Aramark
food waste policies at five diferent Aramark managed
hospital food service locations across the United States
• On the whole, the food service workers were compliant
when receiving, storing, serving and preparing food
• Aramark is dedicated to moving towards the goal of
reducing food waste across all of its locations across
the nation