Ranty Friday — Food packaging

Ranty Friday this week is about something that I have often grumbled about.  Food packaging drives me nuts.   Not just the sheer volume of it at times but how annoying it is to actually rip it open.    You need to cut it / puncture it / try and pull it… you name it, it is not straightforward.

And then last week I went to visit my granny in hospital.   As I chatted to her she was having her dinner and asked me to help her butter her bread roll.  Fair enough, but where was the butter?

Oh it’s in a little plastic bag with some cheese and crackers.   Listed on her menu as “Midnight snack”.   Nice idea.   A little snack if patients wake up in the middle of the night and feel peckish.   Which given that dinner had been hash browns, baked beans and scrambled egg, was almost certain to happen.

BTW do hospitals not understand how confusing it is to give an elderly patient a dinner that is basically breakfast? 

Granny decided she would have the cheese on her bread roll and would I open that for her too.    No was the answer to that.  It was in a vacuum sealed package that was IMPOSSIBLE to open.   I couldn’t pull it apart.    I couldn’t find a way to rip down the seal.   I couldn’t stab it with a knife.

I am 44 and have full use of my hands.

My granny is 85 and has arthritis.

What on earth is the point of giving an elderly patient something they can’t possibly open?

It is not just annoying, it is frustrating.  If patients don’t feel hopeless enough being in hospital, this just adds to it.   Surely?

“We are going to give you a midnight snack, isn’t that a lovely idea?   Oh but you actually want to EAT it?   Oh no, we aren’t going to permit you to do that”.

Seriously, Hospital Trusts really need to think about this because it is not fair.



Ranty Friday, do link up if you have one, or go off and have a read of others that have linked.

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  • Agreed, and it’s packaging in general for me not just food- especially things like toothbrushes or kids toys that are in that really hard plastic, and you have to literally cut it out and then cut all your hands in the process.

    Or when you get a packet that has a little edge to rip AND IT DOESN’T EVER WORK.

  • Insanity.

    Plus, surely the NHS should be promoting healthy meals – since when has a (halfhearted) fry up, been a healthy meal option.

    Spookily, my link up is on the NHS as well…

  • And they wonder why malnutrition is such a problem for those who need help to feed themselves in hospital and why the food is hated. Good, healthy, edible food = more likely to get better surely??
    Am sorry about your Gran, hope she is on the mend and home soon!

  • Totally agree with what Karen has said above! Poor granny, hope she’s on the mend soon and out of hospital.

  • As an ex-nurse can I commend you for your disgust of the cheese packets! Every member of staff hates them too – they take forever to open and I have on occasions had to open a disposable scalpel to get into the damn thing! Packet is shit, cheese once you get it open tastes like shit and there isn’t enough to put on a mousetrap let alone have as a snack!

  • Once again I’m nodding in agreement. Those little vacuum packed things need to be slung into Room 101 sharpish.

  • Granted, the stuff should’ve been easy to open, I find that frustrating too. And that was an interesting meal as well.
    As for the food itself, before having fingers pointed, what kind of diet is Granny on? I am the exec chef at a large hospital here in the US and let me tell you that there are huge obsticles to providing what most people would consider “healthy food.” One is cost-hospital food is often the last cost considered and therefore gets the least amount of funding. Second is delivery and temperature control-difficult in all aspects-like having one waiter service 100 customers in 45 minutes. But lastly-healthy? Most patients don’t want to eat what’s good for them, that’s why they’re in the hospital and subjected to salt-free and fat-free faire in the first place. Over here the company I work for is trying to change that but it’s a long row to hoe…
    And that’s my rant for the day…

  • I will give support to your views wrt the problems of access to product – I remember the difficulties and the perils of unpacking men’s shirts in days of yore – but let’s not forget the advantages that modern packaging brings.

    Chains of distribution involve products being manhandled [OK personhandled!] several times on their journeys to consumers and the integrity and purity of the products are better protected if they are enclosed.

    How many would go back to buying milk delivered directly into your jug by a man on a cart? – or sugar weighed in front of you from bulk in the local grocer’s? – or pills being counted out at the chemist’s? Not many of you I guess. The packaging which we all find very irksome from time to time at least ensures that from producer to consumer the product stays the same.

    That would have my Full support

  • It’s so much more ‘interesting’ when they serve you the cheese in hospital when you’ve had your hand/arm operated on and you’re on the ward with granny and deemed as the one who can look after herself