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Ftag of the Week – F803 Menus Meet Resident Needs/ Prep in Advance / Followed

The Ftag we are looking at this week is F803, which falls under the regulatory group Food and Nutrition Services. New Ftag 803 is the old Ftag 363 with the same name – so what do we need to focus on? The requirements for this regulation have been expanded to be more person-centered, as you will see in the following language:
Menus and nutritional adequacy. Menus must:
• Meet the nutritional needs of residents in accordance with established national guidelines;
• Be prepared in advance;
• Be followed;
• Reflect, based on a facility’s reasonable efforts, the religious, cultural and ethnic needs of the resident population, as well as input received from residents and resident groups;
• Be updated periodically;
• Be reviewed by the facility’s dietitian or other clinically qualified nutrition professional for nutritional adequacy; and
• Nothing in this paragraph should be construed to limit the resident’s right to make personal dietary choices.
The language around meeting the unique needs of the resident population reflects the emphasis that CMS is putting on individual choices and preferences. While facilities do not have to individualize menus for all residents, the Interpretive Guidance does note that facilities need to make “reasonable and good faith efforts” to develop menus that are based on resident requests and incorporate the resident group feedback. Alternatives that meet individual needs/preferences should be available if a resident does not like the primary menu being served.

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