A community catering service which provides 180 meals daily, primarily to older people in the city and parts of the county, has scooped a prestigious quality award.
COPE Galway Community Catering, formerly known as Meals on Wheels, is the first dedicated community meals delivery service in Ireland to receive the Q Mark.
It was also awarded the Q Mark for hygiene and food safety at the highest level.
The Q Mark was set up in 1978 and is awarded to organisations which complete a detailed audit of their food safety management systems. Emerald, the highest level of certification, is awarded to organisations which achieve a score of 75 per cent or higher in the unannounced audit. To achieve this, they must have demonstrated that they are operating at the highest levels of food safety with a focus on continuous improvement.
Jacquie Horan, the chief executive of COPE Galway, said achieving the Q Mark was a “truly remarkable feat” for all concerned.
“I want to congratulate all the staff and volunteers in our community catering service. They have worked extremely hard over the last couple of years to improve the standards within the meal production and delivery service. It is a fitting tribute to all their hard work that they achieved the award at the highest level. This demonstrates what can be achieved by a team of dedicated staff and volunteers and hopefully this will set the standard that all other community meal delivery services will strive for.”
Irene Collins, MD, EIQA stated COPE Galway Community Catering employees and volunteers set high standards and exceeded them.
“Achieving The Q Mark for hygiene and food safety level 3 on a first time audit is a rarity and is testament to the commitment and dedication of the whole team. Congratulations to everyone involved.”
COPE Galway Community Catering was originally Galway Social Services and has been operating since the mid 1970s. Having moved to a modern kitchen facility in 2006 the services was rebranded COPE Galway Community Catering in 2007.
The service has grown and evolved over the years due to the hard work of dedicated staff and volunteers, says a spokesperson for the organisation.
“While the service is primarily for older people it is not exclusively so. Meals can also be provided to anyone who, through disability or injury, is unable to prepare a hot meal for themselves. Today clients can choose how many days a week to have a meal delivered, they can receive the meals ongoing or for a short period when overcoming an illness. They receive a main course and dessert and there is a salad option in the summer. The service caters for dietary requirements such as coeliac and also for clients’ preferences.”
For further information on COPE Galway Community Catering, the services it provides and how to avail of the meal service log onto www.copegalway.ie or telephone (091 ) 700800.