|dc.description.abstract||Foodservice organisations, particularly those in hospitals, are large producers of food waste. The foodservice literature to date has predominantly focused on technical elements of the foodservice system at the expense of the human interaction/influence on this system. By combining elements of systems and practice theory, a new conceptual framework is developed and used to explore the generation of food waste, and how it is influenced by practices of foodservice personnel. This thesis seeks to understand the reasons for hospital food waste prior to the point of consumption. Additionally, it aims to provide recommendations on how to generate sustainable practices and minimise food waste within foodservices.
A qualitative, ethnographic research approach is adopted in this study. Three New Zealand hospital foodservices are selected as research sites, all of which are contracted to an external foodservice provider. Data collection techniques include document analyses, observations, focus groups with kitchen staff, and, interviews with managers. The combined model of systems and practice theory provides a structural framework for data collection and thematic analysis.
Most food waste occurs during service and as a result of overproduction. Reasons include inconsistency during portion control, forecasting challenges and the unpredictable nature of the hospital environment. Additionally, attitudes, habits and previous work experience of foodservice personnel are discussed as influential factors of waste generation. Implications of food waste are perceived differently by different levels of staff. While managers raise discussion from a financial perspective, kitchen staff draw upon financial and social implications. Overall, minimal discussion occurs around environmental consequences of wastage. Organisational plans and policies, controls and use of pre-prepared ingredients assist in waste minimisation. While two different waste management systems are in place, compliance to these varies within and between sites.
Combining systems and practice theory reveals interesting links between elements (materials, images and skills) of waste-related practices that occur throughout the hospital foodservice system. It highlights areas of sustainable consumption and those where more sustainable practices could be formed. This thesis supports the need to move beyond economic success, incorporating social and ecological values as measures of sustainability. In hospital settings, food waste involves many people and therefore strong communication is vital. In light of this, current results illustrate how waste-related practices are integrated and influenced by multiple practitioners within an organisational environment. Ultimately, integrating systems and practice theory offers a new approach to foodservice management, incorporating both sustainable development and the perceptions of practitioners. It provides a foundation to lead further research on sustainable practices within the wider foodservice sector and dietetic practice.||