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Benefits, limitations, and implementation issues for integrating organic foods into hospital foodservices: a systematic review
journal contributionposted on 2023-02-13, 03:34 authored by Marnie Buller, Jack Di Stefano, Natalie D'Anna, Julia Haimovich, Alessia Indovino, Taylor Leeson, Cassie Muscat, Ariana Triskelidis, Nathan Cook, Judi PorterJudi Porter
BACKGROUND: Public institutions have the opportunity implement environmental sustainability policies through leveraging their buying potential. Implementation of sustainable initiatives into hospital foodservices is a priority given the role of hospitals within the food system. Compared to conventional agricultural methods, organic food production uses more sustainable practices and warrants consideration for utilisation in hospitals. This systematic review aimed to synthesise the published literature to identify benefits, limitations and implementation issues regarding the use of organic foods in hospital foodservice settings. METHODS: The review protocol was prospectively published (PROSPERO registration CRD42022322245) and reported consistent with PRISMA guidelines. A systematic search of four databases was undertaken from January 2000 to March 2022. Reference lists of eligible papers were checked; key outcome data were extracted and synthesised. Study quality was assessed using the Quality Criteria Checklist for Primary Research or the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme checklist. RESULTS: After review of 4102 titles/abstracts and 113 full-text papers, the final library comprised 10 papers of moderate to high quality. Implementation of organic foods increased quality in addition to environmental sustainability improvements. The price premium, additional production requirements, change to kitchen routines and concerns with food quality and security of supply were reported as barriers. Government targets for increasing organic food, organisational support, and staff knowledge and training supported implementation. CONCLUSIONS: This review identified opportunities for implementation of organic foods into hospital foodservices, but there are numerous barriers to be overcome through strategies including organisational support and staff training. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.