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4.24 SCL – Meal Procedures


The individuals of Park West are to all have the opportunity to participate in all aspects of family style dining, meal preparation, consumption, and clean up.

Safe Food Handling

  • All Direct Support Professionals and individuals are to wash their hands prior to any contact with food. This means prior to preparation and eating, before and after handling meat, and other times as needed when non-food items have been touched.
  • All foods are to be served within 15 minutes of removal from temperature control (stove for hot foods; refrigerator for chilled foods).
  • Dishes, serving bowls, cookware, and utensils must be clean and free of chips, nicks, or cracks.
  • Leftovers must be stored in the refrigerator immediately after the meal. All stored leftovers must be tightly covered and labeled with what it is and the date prepared.
  • Staff must follow ISP guidelines for supervision during meals to ensure individual safety while eating any meal or snack.
  • A cookbook has been provided to all locations to assist staff with meal preparation.
  • Staff should assist the individual to plan meals and complete grocery shopping with them.
  • Staff will encourage individuals to follow ISP dietary requirements.

Diet Orders

  • Each individual must be encouraged to follow his/her diet.
  • Direct Support Professionals are responsible for reading all of the individual’s menus for the meal and for providing the items listed or appropriate alternative.
  • Each Direct Support Professionals is responsible for ensuring individuals with texture modifications receive the correct texture.
  • Pureed food must be free of chunks and with no thin liquid.
  • Ground food must be sufficiently moist and the consistency of small curd cottage cheese.
  • Chopped foods must be the consistency of fruit cocktail.
  • Liquids can be thickened to nectar, honey, and pudding consistency by following instructions on the can of thickening powder.


  • Direct Support Professionals must offer an appropriate substitution for any menu item that is not available or is refused.
  • The individual is to choose the substitution made. The Direct Support Professionals is to present items to choose from, to ensure the substitution is appropriate.

Training/Role Modeling

  • Each individual is to have the opportunity to help with meal preparations, service, and clean-up, including preparing a packed lunch.
  • Direct Support Professionals are expected to complete mealtime programs and swallowing strategies as listed on the ISP.
  • All individuals are to be encouraged to feed themselves to the best of their ability. If they are unable, Direct Support Professionals must provide hand over hand assistance for them to eat.
  • ALL staff will receive training in orientation regarding the meal time process from menu planning, shopping, and cooking. The cooking competency worksheet will be completed by trainer for each new employee. Employees indicating that they need further training, will receive a follow-up training scheduled by program team.

Signed by:

Rebecca Sharp Porter
Chief Executive Director

Last Revised: 4/30/21

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