Leading healthcare provider Nawaloka Hospitals had high praise heaped upon the quality and hygiene of its food when it was presented with a prestigious 5 Crown Award for Food Hygiene by Ind-Expo Certification Ltd. for the fifth consecutive year.
The hospital chain clinched the first of these awards in 2012 on its very first attempt and has gone on to further strengthen its food storage and preparation practices each subsequent year.
The hospital was handed the award by Ind-Expo Certification Ltd. at the Nawaloka Hospital Auditorium.
Ind-Expo is a non-profit certification and training organisation, established by the Ceylon National Chamber of Industries (CNCI) and the National Chamber of Exporters of Sri Lanka (NCE), who serve as its principal shareholders. Its awards recognise and certify food safety management systems that align with top international standards. It rates kitchens following a comprehensive audit, which includes awarding points for the maintenance of accurate documentation detailing all processes that occur within the kitchen.
The kitchen at Nawaloka Hospital Colombo is a hive of activity, with it regularly churning out about 300 to 400 meals, thrice a day. To ensure the quality and safety of this large quantity of food, the hospital’s management enforces a stringent set of Key Performance Indicators together with a carefully implemented Food Safety Management System which is scrutinised and fine-tuned each year.
At the helm of this operation is a team of 40 kitchen staff led by Chef Deshabandu Dr. Mario Alan Gerreyn. The highly-skilled chef possesses more than 30 years of experience and has been with Nawaloka for the past 15 years.
The hospital also inculcates within each staff member a deep appreciation and understanding of the importance of maintaining high standards of personal hygiene.
“We are thrilled to once again receive this distinguished certification. This reflects our dedication and hard work in ensuring the highest standards in food preparation and safety practices. However, we will not rest on our laurels and want to keep raising the bar. That is why management has mapped out several future staff training programmes and continuously refines policies in hygiene and food safety management,” said Chef Gerreyn.
Nawaloka Hospitals Chairman Dr. Jayantha Dharmadasa echoed these sentiments, underscoring the importance of maintaining hygiene and food safety at a hospital.
“Ensuring that the food prepared at hospitals is safe and nutritious is a crucial but oftentimes overlooked component of patient treatment and recovery. Contaminated or low-quality food can significantly hamper a patients’ recuperation since their immune systems are likely to be compromised due to their prescribed medication, leaving them vulnerable to any harmful bacteria. This is why we place great emphasis on maintaining global best practices with our food handling and preparation procedures, helping deliver the best possible clinical outcomes to our patients,” said Dr. Dharmadasa.
Nawaloka Hospitals entered the state-dominated healthcare sector in 1985 as the first private hospital in Sri Lanka to offer tertiary healthcare services. Since then, under the visionary leadership of Dr. Dharmadasa, the hospital has garnered considerable local and international recognition, pioneering numerous advanced clinical developments including the introduction of South Asia’s first 640 slice CT scanner.
It also opened the first specialised unit for cardiac care, the now renowned Nawaloka Heart Centre, which has successfully completed over 13,500 heart surgeries since its inception. Additionally, the hospital houses fully-equipped specialised centres for digestive health, chest and sleep, rheumatology and pain management, radiology, lasik surgery, physiotherapy and skin care and cosmetics. Nawaloka also offers a 24-hour OPD centre, a state-of-the-art ETU facility, air and land medical evacuation services which include mobile ICUs, as well as a home nursing unit offering professional in-home care services. To support this extensive portfolio, the hospital houses 12 operating theatres.
Equipped with the latest technology and affordable healthcare solutions of international standards driven by a passionate and professional team of the best consultants and nurses, Nawaloka Hospitals is fully committed towards the principal vision of building a healthier and stronger Sri Lanka.