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Survey Tool for Assisted Living Meals and Menu Requirements Now Available

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has made the survey tool for assisted living meals and menus available. The tool provides insight into how compliance with the USDA Guidelines will be interpreted. 

If a meal may vary from the Guidelines, be sure to document the reason, such as resident involvement in planning a meal or particular cultural preferences. For individual residents who regularly decline this type of diet, MDH suggests to "document the resident's refusal, and perhaps a nurse conversation explaining why a nutritious, balanced diet is good for their health and well-being."

Surveyors will verify the following items per 144G.41 subd.1 (13) (i):

  • At least three nutritious meals daily with snacks available seven days per week
  • Meals include seasonal fresh fruit and vegetables
  • Menus are prepared at least one week in advance and made available to all residents. 
  • Residents’ involvement in menu planning is encouraged
  • Meal substitutions are of similar nutritional value if a resident refuses food that is served
  • Residents are informed in advance of menu changes
  • The facility does not require a resident to include and pay for meals in their contract that the resident does not want
  • Meals are made according to the recommended dietary allowances in the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) guidelines (see the MyPlate Guide below for reference)

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