Helping You Make Informed Buying Decisions
Research has proven that the use of brightly coloured dinnerware helps stimulate appetite for people with dementia and reduced visual perception.
Trials in hospital elderly care wards found that when yellow or blue plates were introduced replacing white plates, over 25% reduction in food waste was sent back to the kitchen.
Why Use Melamine Crockery?
Melamine crockery is a hardwearing and extremely damage resistant and hygienic alternative to porcelain. As it is safe to be dropped and almost impossible to chip, crack or scratch during normal use, melamine crockery is ideally suited to help avoid crockery breakages in busy care home dining environments and kitchens and reduce replacement costs on traditional porcelain.
Because of its superior porcelain appearance and quality feel, melamine is the trusted alternative to polycarbonate, which, because of its light weight has often been described as ‘picnic style, childlike and undignified’ for care home residents.
Melamine crockery is continuing to grow in popularity and is suitable for use in schools, hospitals, care homes, workplace canteens and relaxed restaurants. Melamine crockery has a host of benefits and features that make it a much the preferred choice in a variety of different establishments.
Benefits Of Using Melamine Crockery
1. Provides A Dignified Dining Experience
Melamine crockery is often indistinguishable from true traditional crockery, looking just as good while enjoying all the added benefits. This makes melamine ideal for adding a little extra durability to a crockery collection without sacrificing style or dignity of your residents.
One of the biggest benefits of melamine is that it is hardwearing. Thanks to the strength of the material, it can be dropped and will rarely break, giving it a distinct advantage over traditional crockery ranges.
This remarkable property of melamine crockery makes it the perfect choice for any establishment where accidents might be expected to happen, such as care homes.
3. Scratch Resistant
Not only resistant to breakages, melamine is scratch resistant too. This makes it perfect for use in busy catering environments where everyday contact with cutlery can quickly take its toll on more traditional crockery. And as it’s the scuffs and scratches plates and bowls pick up that are more likely to force care homes to replace them – rather than actual breakages – this resistance to scratching gives melamine products a long working life.
What does this mean for catering environments? A lower spend in the long run, reduced costs and the potential for extra profit.
However, although melamine is more scratch resistant than traditional crockery, this doesn’t mean it can be abused. Serrated knives can still damage it, and abrasive cleaning chemicals should still be avoided when cleaning it. Treat it right, however, and it’ll last for a remarkably long time.
4. Lightweight Design
The real miracle of melamine is that it balances remarkable durability and porcelain look, with a surprisingly lightweight design which is useful as it makes carrying several melamine plates at once much easier than balancing several (often heavy) porcelain ones. That’s good news for careers and care caterers serving meals.
5. Heat Resistant
The fact that melamine remains cool to the touch, even when hot food is dished into it, makes it even more user-friendly. The burnt hands and potential plate drops that hot crockery can bring about are much less likely with melamine for this reason. It also means that melamine is very safe, reducing the likelihood of burns at the table and therefore an especially good choice when catering for elderly residents.
6. Dishwasher Safe
There’s no denying that crockery being dishwasher safe is a huge benefit – whether you’re catering for small groups or hundreds of diners at a time. Melamine is dishwasher safe under normal conditions, making it likely to be as much of a hit with pot washers as it is with care staff.
Is Melamine Microwave Safe?
Just as with many plastics, melamine should not be used to heat foods in the microwave or oven.
Doing so can damage your melamine crockery, and could even contaminate the food you serve.
Instead, if heating food in the microwave, do so in a purpose-made microwavable container first.
Then, once your food is ready to plate, transfer it to your melamine crockery. The in-built heat resistance of your melamine crockery will keep your hands (and those of your residents) safe from the heat of your freshly pinged food.
Use this method and keep your tableware, and the food you plate on it, safe.
Is Melamine BPA Free?
APS melamine is BPA free, whilst the Food Standards Agency have stated that, even in other food packaging which contains BPA, ‘levels of exposure are not considered to be harmful’.
“(BPA stands for bisphenol A. BPA is an industrial chemical that has been used to make certain plastics and resins since the 1960s. BPA is found in polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins. Polycarbonate plastics are often used in containers that store food and beverages, such as water bottles. They may also be used in other consumer goods.)”
‘We recently monitored the levels of nutrition and hydration of 12 clients currently on a ward of elderly people with a wide range of challenging behaviour when we introduced the coloured crockery range: Our conclusion – the cups have been a definite success because clients find them easier to hold and colour defines the cup shape for them helping them to realise what it is. Plates have been useful with some clients mainly because of colour contrast although the wide rims on dessert bowls have prevented a lot of spillage therefore leaving more on plate for clients to eat. In cases where the plates have worked the difference has been significant and we estimate that food intake of clients is at least 20 to 30 percent more.’
Belinda Dunn | Sonia Mullaney | St George’s Park Hospital
We hope you’ve found this information insightful. Why not leave a comment or suggestion below!