We’re Back!

11 February 2018

Reported in several papers and shown as a short film on TV, the Regethermic food service system created “quite a stir” when it was installed at RNSH (Royal North Shore Hospital) back in 1975. RNSH was the first major installation of the system using cook–chill technology introduced into Australia by Regethermic. Until then cook-serve and cook-freeze were the only accepted methods of serving food, but against all odds, after several presentations, the Hospital Board backed the system. Their decision was vindicated by many positive comments.

in praise of catering services, one patient recently wrote that “to be served a hot egg with a soft yolk and firm white, approximately 1/4 mile from the kitchen, is little short of a miracle”!

Food was prepared and cooked in the traditional manner, chilled in bulk, then plated according to patients’ requirements. Just prior to service the meals were

plated in the main kitchen and, at mealtimes are loaded onto specially designed racked trolleys, with meal on each rack corresponding to the individual patient’s specific choice or requirements. The trolleys have separate sections for hot and cold foods. Trolleys are then transported to the wards where meals are reheated in infra-red hoods by catering staff before distribution to patients

 

Ed Braude, who took over as MD of Regethermic in the 1980’s is particularly proud to be back at RNSH. The new system called Rational, soon to be installed, bears some resemblance to the original system. There is still a “special” trolley that docks with a hood or docking station but the system has undergone a lot of technological improvements. All aspects of the operation are automated, even docking. The trolleys known as “shuttles” are made out of space age material stronger than stainless steel and much lighter. The “old” days of one person taking two trolleys up to the ward (pushing one and pulling the other) are not acceptable. Today, occupational health and safety is paramount. To win the contract we had to have the the most maneuverable trolley and trolleys that have to travel large distances are transported by robots called AGV’s (Automated Guided Vehicles).

This is now a very competitive market where every aspect of the system is scrutinized by a team of experts with side by side tests together with staff participation in the decision making process. The new system at RNSH follows on from the success of other Rational DSPRO systems at NSW Hospitals such as Westmead.

It took a few years but the RNSH was followed Royal Melbourne, Royal Brisbane, Royal Perth and many others. The original Regethermic system operated successfully at RNSH for more than 23 years. Since then two other systems have lasted a total less than half that time. With Rational, we believe we have a chance to set a better record. The DSPRO system takes into account every aspect of design and construction, even aesthetics are important, being designed by one of Italy’s most famous car designers. The trolley is designed so that no screws are visible, challenging the engineers at Rational to produce the lightest trolley that would be stronger than any conventionally welded, with the ability to be disassembled and easily repaired without use of special tools or welding. When you take into account the level of sophistication of DSPRO system, we are seeing minimum repair costs, something that equates to very simple equipment.

While today the solutions we offer to the food service, food production, food manufacturing, function and banqueting industries are immense, our roots are firmly planted in cook chill. According to Ed Braude,

We have never lost the pioneering spirit of the early days of cook chill and RNSH.

See the original news articles from 1975

Regethermic would like to thank Dr Catherine Storey for locating the original articles from the RNSH archives. Interestingly Dr Storey was an intern at RNSH when the Regethermic system went in.

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