Food Services: Science Transforming Life®

Submitted By: Gloria Shotwell, Food Services

I am Science Transforming Life. I am part of the Food Services team who works to prevent foodborne illness and positively impact the lives of patients, their families, visitors and employees of National Jewish Health with positive attitude and humor.

I've been a dishwasher here for 23 years and I love my job, which includes two important components: Preventing foodborne illnesses and serving employees, visitors and patients.

Most employees are not aware of the detailed steps we take to prevent food-borne illnesses in the kitchen. For example, just in my area, if one plate is not cleaned and sanitized properly and then it's placed in the plate warmer, we'd have thousands of germs in a short period of time which would quickly be shared with anyone who ate off those plates. That could spell disaster.

We use a multi-step process to clean, disinfect, dry and store plates, utensils, really everything in the kitchen that touches food. This process involves mixing the right amounts of the appropriate chemicals and using them in the right order for the correct amount of time.

In addition to the serious part of my job, I enjoy bringing a smile to faces of children and other visitors to our great institution. I know that every time I take a moment to stop and help someone who is lost, make a child smile who has just had a shot or test or in some small way make life more enjoyable, then I've done my job as an ambassador of this great hospital. Sometimes I'm in costume, sometimes in my uniform, but always ready to do my part of Science Transforming Life.