Montreal

Quebec spices up menu in long-term care homes

Quebec Health Minister Gaétan Barrette is promising that food in the province's chronic-care institutions is about to get much tastier.

Recipes will have a special focus on Mediterranean, Asian, Caribbean cuisine

Meals like this one served at Quebec CHSLD have prompted the health minister to promise to create a more interesting menu for Quebecers in long-term care. (Radio-Canada)

Quebec Health Minister Gaétan Barrette is promising that food in the province's chronic-care institutions is about to get much tastier. 

The province has partnered with the Institut de tourisme et d'hôtellerie du Québec to come up with 40 new recipes for kitchen staff at its centres d'hébergement de soins de longue durée (CHSLD). 

The recipes will target cultural communities, with a special focus on Mediterranean, Asian and Caribbean cuisine.

"We are committed to improving the quality of meals offered in CHSLDs throughout the province by 2018," Barrette said.

The recipes will be ready by next March. The project will cost $100,000. 

Barrette faced criticism last year after news reports indicated the elderly in government-run residences were fed "powdered potatoes with a protein supplement" and that as many as 60 per cent of seniors in long-term care were suffering from malnutrition — in part, because they are given so little time to eat and so little help being fed. 

​CAQ MNA François Paradis denounced the fact that the average budget for a CHSLD meal in Quebec was $2.14, and in some establishments, it was as low as $1.35. The CAQ called for that average budget to be almost doubled.  

At the time, Barrette promised more money would be invested to provide better food and invited journalists with cameras to a residence in order to try some of the meals given to the province's seniors living in government care.

With files from The Canadian Press

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