Individualized menu slips improve the accuracy of patient food trays

J Am Diet Assoc. 1991 Nov;91(11):1425-8.


We evaluated the effect of five menu slip formats on worker preference and accuracy of food trays in a simulated hospital tray line. Menu slip formats were either individualized or preprinted, and various combinations of color coding, large type, and bold print were used to code the type of diet and the menu choices to be placed on the tray. Student volunteers who had not worked in hospital foodservice were used as tray line workers to reduce the possibility of prior preference for a menu slip format. Results indicate that menu slip format significantly affects both worker preference and the accuracy of assembled food trays. Errors were significantly lower with individualized formats that identified menu selections in bold print and type of diet in either large type or colored ink. The highest error rate was found with preprinted formats. An individualized menu slip that identified menu selections and diet orders with large type and bold print received the highest worker preference rating and resulted in the most accurate tray assembly.

MeSH terms

  • Food Preferences
  • Food Service, Hospital / standards*
  • Humans
  • Menu Planning / standards*