Jewish residents are entitled to Kosher food at their long-term centres

Chabad of Edmonton Rabbi Ari Drelich

(AJNews) – Chabad Lubavitch of Edmonton Rabbi Ari Drelich has been in conversation with Alberta Minister of Health Policy Advisor Scott Reith about Kosher food accessibility for Jewish residents of Long-Term Care Centres.

Reith stated that, “Alberta Health’s Accommodations Standards does include the provision of meals that accommodate, as far as is reasonably practicable, the resident’s food preferences, religious practice and cultural customs.”

He explained, “This, 14(1)c states that “the Operator of a LTC accommodation shall ensure that the menu provided for residents, as far as is reasonably practicable, recognizes resident’s food preferences, religious practice and cultural customs in the planning, preparation and service of meals.” The mechanisms to enable this may include conversations that can occur with residents or their representatives regarding how meals served match their preferences and documentation of religious practices and cultural customs.”

When asked if there is a mechanism in place to monitor this. Reith stated, “The continuing care operator, as per, Standard 14(3) is required to have a process in place to enable the ability for the resident or representative to provide feedback and opinions on meals, fluids and snacks, the residents’ opinions and feedback are to be collected at least yearly and considered in the development of the menu.”

He said that there is also a process in place for residents for residents to express concerns and complaints. “Standard 24 specifies that an operator shall develop and maintain a written process for the resolution of concerns and complaints where the resident or representative may have their concerns or complaints addressed and have the measures taken to resolve it documented. An example could include discussing solutions to provision of kosher meals or potential substitutions,” he noted.

Rabbi Ari asked about the possibility of supplying frozen kosher meals to the Jewish residents to which Reith replied, “The suggestion of frozen kosher meals could be brought in from existing suppliers for continuing care residents of the Jewish faith, is a marvellous idea, and we in the ministry fully support this suggestion to LTC operators. This is an option that would support operators in meeting compliance to provincial standards.”

Reith concluded the correspondence by saying that, “Alberta Health accepts complaints of an accommodation’s non-compliance with the Accommodation Standards. Complaints can be made by calling the complaint line at: 1-888-357-9339 (option #3). Current information about compliance and complaints related to the accommodation standards in supportive living and long-term care accommodations can be found at”

For more information contact Chabad of Edmonton at 780-993-1818.


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