Last Updated 27 Jul 2020


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 The food service industry (catering industry in British English) encompasses those places, institutions and companies that provide meals eaten away from home. This industry includes restaurants, schools and hospital cafeterias, catering operations, and many other formats, including ‘on-premises’ and ‘off-premises’ caterings (Bharathiar University, 2008). It may involve few processes before the food is ready to be served to the consumer.

It is important to understand the flow of food through a foodservice system in order to determine the system. Food flows through ten possible processes such as menu planning purchasing, receiving, storing, preparing, cooking, holding, serving, cooling and reheating. But then, not all of these processes applicable for all type of food service system (University of Mississippi, 2008). Hospital food service may practise either one type of the food service system. These are conventional, centralized (commissary), ready-prepared or assembly-serve (Unklesbay et al. 1977). The background of this study is based on hospital food service which practice centralized system. Food production plays a critical role in meeting objectives of the foodservice of the department and satisfying the expectations of customers or patients. This system is responsible for translating the menu into food in the required quantities. The nutrition value, flavors, and appearance of foods are vital tools for restoring or maintaining the health of patients and in satisfying the needs.

Muda is a Japanese word which means waste (Bob Emiliani, 2002). In lean management, it listed seven wastes to be eliminated for quality improvement, cost and speed of any organisations regardless of either it is food producer, car manufacturer or even in the office. Overproduction occurs when more products was produced than is required at that time by customer. Production of large batches is common practice that leads to this muda. Overproduction is considered the worst muda because it hides and/or generates all the others.

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Overproduction leads to excess inventory, which then requires the expenditure of resources on storage space and preservation, activities that do not benefit the customer (Bob Emiliani, 2002). Study of the trend of customer number is beneficial, in order to minimize overproduction. Just In Time practice or Made-To-Order practise shall be installed in any foodservice provider since food are very susceptible to get spoiled and fresh foods are shorter shelf life. From the past study of overproduction, less researchers associating trend of number of consumer and verproduction. Their main concern are towards overproduction and wastage associated with nutrient deficiency especially in hospital food service industry. According to Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (2010), data captured from the study of trends could be use to target intervention and improvement practice from the perspective of overproduction. After ten years of experience in hospital food service, Besta Corporation Sdn Bhd had found that study of trends of in-patients numbers is upmost in order to minimize overproduction.

There is a pattern of in-patient number from Monday to Sunday. It depends on when the specialist or referral clinics are operated. The day of operation is different from one hospital to another. It had been found that, when those clinics operated, there is high numbers of admission, and when towards the weekend when clinics are closed, the patient number will drop due to discharge and less admission. If the trend is not properly identified, is certainly causing overproduction of foods in the hospital’s main kitchen.

This proposal aims to study the importance of identifying trend of in-patient number and factors affecting to overproduction in outsource food service Ministry of Health (MOH) hospital operated by Besta Corporation Sdn Bhd in Klang Valley. To reflect the variety of trends of in-patient number and understand their implications for overproduction, I had selected three hospitals, which, for confidentiality reasons, I call Hospital 1, 2 and 3. These hospitals practising cook and serve system.

Most menu items are prepared primarily from basic ingredients on the day they are to be served. LITERATURE REVIEW According to the 9th Malaysian Plan, approximately 45% of the solid waste collection in Malaysia is from food wastage, as compared to 24% of plastic, and 7% of paper wastage (9th Malaysian Plan, 2006). In food preparation, there are production demands that need to be met with. However, it is almost impossible to meet the exact production demand at all times due to many factors which could not be calculated or determined, hence there will always be overproduction.

Overproduction is the production of more food than that is needed for service, which generates extra costs because the salvage of excess food items is not always feasible (Gregoire, MB. , 2010; Flack, KE. , 1959). This, in turn, becomes food wastage, and is deposed of as thrash. Any action performed or product made that is not paid for by a client is waste (Buckner, 2011). This also results in the loss of income, especially for the cost of the food already prepared and yet company has to bear the cost and shrink the bottom line/net profit.

Therefore, leftover food must be handled diligently. Some food can be stored by refrigeration, and re-used at a later period, but some food will break down and deteriorate in quality. Due to these circumstances, guidelines with policies and procedures in handling the leftover food are prepared, well defined, and rigorously enforced in the food service sector. However, not all food items can be stored. Therefore, the only way to avoid food wastage and loss of income is to avoid overproduction in the first place.

In most food service sectors, the food service managers, or the outlet managers are responsible in calculating and formulating the amount of food to be prepared. Normally, meetings are held with the employees from the production units, and their recommendations are taken into consideration as well, in order to avoid overproduction. They are responsible in keeping production records to document the amount of food prepared, the amount of food served, and the amount leftover and disposed. Using information, future productions can be controlled and reduced.

For example, the LeanPath Company has designed a program called ValuWaste (LeanPath, 2009). This program includes the incorporation of their equipments used in the kitchen, as well as weighing the food prepared, food served, and food leftover at the end of each meal. These data are then processed according to an employee recognition program for recognizing reduction in waste efforts. Many other companies have developed their own food waste management programs, and this is definitely a very good way to increase their efficiency, as well as increase profits.

Importance of Data and Information Flow The word “information”, according to Ibaketo et al, (2003), comprises known knowledge, facts and ideas, data (analog or digital) that when given out or received make sense to both the sender and the receiver. The information could be written, spoken, gestured, drawn, coded, and pictorial or signals carried out over the air waves. According to Kalchschmidt, M. , 2007, collecting the information of in-patient number is beneficial, since it allows company to better analyze and understand the demand.

He claimed thus collecting a wide range of data allows company to provide functional area with an in-depth demand analysis that may help to reduce uncertainty with regard to future events and define action accordingly. This in turn, can impact on company’s cost thanks. Information is useful to the organization in assisting most forecasting procedures build on the premise. However, many firms do not keep adequate records, nor have they thought through a consistent approach to collect information (Fildes, R. , 2010).

The information flow shall be efficient and fast in order to generate accurate forecast. From the literature review, I can conclude that, there is a relationship between data and information and the forecasting process in order to minimize overproduction. Importance of Forecasting Process In literacy sense, forecasting means prediction. According to Kumar, A. , 1998, forecasting may be defined as a technique of translating past experience into prediction of things to come. It tries to evaluate the magnitude and significance of forces that will be affect future operating conditions in an enterprise.

Thus, demand forecasting, is an estimate of future demand. Most of the forecasts made in current operation practice in Besta Corporation Sdn Bhd overestimate demand. It is supported by Kumar, A. , 1998 claimed demand forecasting is essential for the old firms and new firms. It is much more important where the firm is engaged in large scale production and there is a long gestation period in production process. In such circumstances, an idea about future demand is necessary to avoid underproduction and overproduction.

Therefore it is possible to have a forecast that will provide enough food for all patients to get what they ordered but with an increased wastage or overproduction. There are three lengths of forecasts, which are short-term forecasts, medium-term forecasts and long-term forecasts. From my point of view, the short-term forecast is the most ideal in food service hospital management. It is involve a period up to twelve months. These are useful for determining sales quotas, inventory control, production schedules, budgeting and planning cash flows (Kumar, A. , 1998). Importance of Portion Control

Portion control is important throughout food production and meal service. It involves careful menu planning and purchasing procedures, as well as accurate measuring during food production and meal service (Iowa Department of Education, 2011). Controlling the size portions can control food costs (Lendal et al. , 2007). Inconsistent portion size might lead to overproduction, so it is essential to develop proper portioning standards that prevent excessive waste (Karen Malody, 2011). Portion control helps in managing more effectively by reducing waste and leftover of food.

Poor portion control causes overproduction. During food preparation, access to ingredients should be authorized and the amounts of ingredients taken should follow meal forecasting. Otherwise, more food ingredients are used for food preparation which leads to overproduction. The book written by Kumar, A. (1998) mentioned about the necessary of forecasting in quantity control. It shows the relationship between forecasting, portion control and overproduction. The other main cause of overproduction is in the ingredient control.

Ingredient control is the major component of quality and quantity control in the production subsystem, and a critical dimension of cost control throughout the food service system (Gregoire MB, 2010). The ingredient control is tied closely to the forecasting of the daily food production. In order to remedy this cause of overproduction, there should be a tighter control of the ingredients room, which has been dated to back in the late 1950s (Flack KE, 1959). This will restrict access to the ingredients by the cooks, or kitchen staff, and therefore allowing only the authorized amount of ingredients to be issued.

This will not only help control overproduction, but also reduce labour costs, as evidence in Dougherty (1984), where it was shown that in an operation without an ingredient room, production employees spend about a third of their time determining needs, obtaining supplies, and weighing and measuring ingredients. STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM Although there are many research conducted about overproduction in food service industry, but there are still lack of study on overproduction in relation to trend of consumer number especially pertaining to hospital food service.

The aim of the research is to study the trend of in-patient number and how it will contribute to overproduction of meal in outsourced hospital food service operated by Besta Corporation Sdn Bhd as supported by Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (2010). If no further action taken, inaccuracy of forecasting, inefficiency of information flow and inconsistency of portion control prolong and overproduction remain unresolved. Overproduction cause producing waste, increasing of cost and affect the profit earned. Profit is essential for the survival and growth of business enterprise (Shenoy, D. 2011). Therefore, analysing census of in-patient number and data collection of overproduce meal, assist in executing the research. PURPOSE OF THE STUDY Main objective: To study the trend of in-patient number in outsourced food service Ministry of Health hospital operated by Besta Corporation Sdn Bhd in Klang Valley. Specific objective: 1. To tabulate the data of time of in-patient meal order send to kitchen department. 2. To tabulate and analyse the data of in-patient meal orders from Nursing Department in each hospital involve. 3.

To measure the number of serving overproduced at the tray line for each main menu item listed in menu cycle after serving time. 4. To identify the difference between the forecasted meal order for production and actual number of serving served for each of the main menu item listed in menu cycle. Inclusion criteria All the normal and therapeutic menu items listed in the three hospital menu cycle. Exclusion Criteria Children menu, vegetarian menu, western menu and any ala carte order will be excluded. Reducing overproduce meal allows organisation to save some money on commodities, labour, energy and disposal costs (LeanPath, 2008).

Furthermore, by reducing waste, it helps the environment through reduce significant carbon emission and landfill disposal. According to Fildes et al. (2009), improved demand forecasting accuracy can lead to significant monetary savings, greater competitiveness, enhanced channel relationships and consumer satisfaction. These statement made by the researchers show how important is controlling overproduction in the financial aspect of the organisation. Portion control is one of the essential controls in production of food in quantity (Gregoire, 2010).

This is to ensure that all patients receive the same quantity and quality of food, because they are all equal paying customers. In order to ensure this, the first step to be taken is to standardize all serving utensils, like plates, cups, spoons and ladles. These utensils should be then taken into consideration while planning the standardized recipes. Normally, these serving utensils are given their respective numbers, according to their serving capabilities, for example, a level measure of a number 8 disher yields eight servings per quart, with each portion measuring about ? cup (Gregoire, 2010).

Therefore, each individual dish must have their own serving utensils, with a proper number, and method of serving. Only then, consistency in food serving and portioning be maintained. Often, instead of numbers, some kitchen also uses colour codes for their serving utensils, which is a method that was developed by Vollrath Company. By doing so, if the portioning requires two cups of rice, the manager can instruct the employee to use the blue ladle to serve the rice (Gregoire, 2010). THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK AND HYPOTHESIS Dependent variable: Overproduction of in-patient meal Independent variables: 1.

Information flow in-patient meal order from Nursing Department 2. Forecasting of in-patient meals order 3. Portion control of in-patient meal at the assembly line Hypothesis: 1. The faster the information flow of the in-patient meal data, the lower possibility of overproduction 2. The larger the different between forecasted in-patient meal order and the actual serving of meal, the bigger number of overproduce meal occur 3. The larger number of left over meal after assembly line, the higher possibility of overproduction RESEARCH METHODOLOGY Generally, there are three types of research designs.

For the purpose of this study, descriptive research is selected due to it is designed to obtain data (Hair, 2007). Under the classification of cross-sectional, data are collected at a given point in time and summarized statistically. First is data of in-patient meal order from Dietary System will be collected and tabulated in Microsoft Excel and SPSS in order to identify the trend of the in-patient number. The Dietary System is already in placed in each of these three selected hospitals as the hospitals operated through intranet system or it is called Total Hospital Information System, THIS, namely Hospital 1,2 and 3.

Plus the time that the meals order indented to Kitchen Department. Second is collect and tabulate the data of forecasted in-patient meal number using Microsoft Excel and SPSS as well. Third is data collection on number of overproduced in-patient meal through these methods: 1. Visual estimation/counting After finish the serving time at ward level, the total pieces of meat, poultry or fish are counted and recorded. Those items mentioned are pre-cut and can be quantified as one piece. 2. Weighing of food item

After finish the serving time at ward level, for those dishes which could not be quantified into pieces or slices such as vegetables, weighing method was used to record the amount remaining. The instruments use in this study is aluminium strainer, digital food weighing scale, and food container, basting spoon, household measuring tool: rice bowl that can contain 200grams of rice. Data Analysis Descriptive statistics is used to obtain understanding of data collected. Data of trend of in-patient number will be presented in histogram, whereas, data of number of overproduced in-patient meal will be presented in bar chart.

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