07/26/2012 01:59 EDT | Updated 09/25/2012 05:12 EDT

Alberta to bring back on-site food prep in long-term care centres

EDMONTON - Albertans living in long-term care facilities operated by Alberta Health Services will soon enjoy fresher food that better meets their dietary needs and preferences.

Health Minister Fred Horne is directing Alberta Health Services (AHS) to discontinue the practice of preparing meals offsite and reheating, and bring back on-site food preparation services in the long-term care facilities it operates.

The changes will be in effect by December 2012.

Horne says the government has listened to what residents and their families have said about the quality of the food in long-term care facilities.

He says the residents deserve to live in comfort and dignity and enjoy food that is not only nutritious, but looks and tastes home-cooked and satisfies cultural food preferences.

The directive applies to all 73 long-term care facilities operated by AHS across the province which are home to approximately 2,700 residents.