Evaluation of food quality in geriatric institutions

Danielle St Arnaud McKenzie, Catherine Paquet, Kergoat Marie-Jeanne, Laurette Dubé, Guylaine Ferland

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Purpose: The aim was to develop a strategy for evaluating food sensory quality in an institutional setting, the Parameter Specific Sensory Quality (PSSQ) approach, and to compare the inter-evaluator judgement concordance (IEC) using the PSSQ tool versus a traditional tool (TT). Methods: Inter-evaluator judgement concordance was assessed before and after participants underwent 12 (Study 1) or eight hours of training (Study 2). In Study 1, the IEC was determined before training using the traditional tool only (29 food items) and after training using both the traditional tool and the PSSQ (28 food items). In Study 2, the IEC was determined before and after training using the PSSQ (19 food items). Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) were used to measure the IEC, and data were compared using Fisher's transformation. Results: Study 1 highlighted the poor IEC for the traditional tool in general (ICC pre=0.41 vs. ICCpost=0.43; p>0.1), especially in comparison with that for the PSSQ (ICCPSSQ=0.88 vs. ICCπ=0.43; p<0.01). Study 2 corroborated the excellent performance of the PSSQ, even when participants had as few as eight hours of training (ICC post=0.93). Conclusions: The inter-evaluator judgement concordance in the evaluation of food sensory quality is fundamental to the generation of valid and useful information. Study results suggest that the food sensory IEC could be improved in hospital settings through the use of a parameter-specific approach, and that this improvement could help ensure the provision of foods of consistent quality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)192-198
Number of pages7
JournalCanadian Journal of Dietetic Practice and Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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