17 Feb 2016

Health boss happy with under-fire meals

5:34 pm on 17 February 2016

The food provided by the Southern District Health Board's (DHB) new Compass-run meals service is perfectly adequate, its chief executive says.

Southern DHB volunteer Liz Green described this meal, provided by the Compass Group, as "incredibly salty" and "very watery".

A volunteer took this photo of a meal provided by the Compass Group for Meals on Wheels. Photo: SUPPLIED

Southern DHB chief executive Carole Heatly was asked at a health select committee meeting today about the quality of food for Meals on Wheels.

The DHB joined some other health boards in contracting out its catering to Compass last year to save money.

To date, she said, 48 Dunedin recipients of the service and two in Invercargill had cancelled - and only a small number said it was because they didn't like the food.

"Having sampled the food for myself, I thought it was perfectly adequate.

"I'm always concerned when the community express concerns to us and we listen and try to change what we can to make it better."

The quality of the meals had been in the spotlight after complaints, with one delivery volunteer describing the food as something she wouldn't give to her dog.

At the time, the DHB said it provided Meals on Wheels to 250 clients a week in Dunedin and Invercargill.

It said the menu had been endorsed by the National Food and Nutrition Advisory Group.

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