Better Food in Aged Care

  • Labor will improve food in aged care through new food standards – restoring dignity for aged care residents.

  • Currently, too many aged care residents are being served the same poor quality and overprocessed food day after day, with high malnutrition rates as a result.

  • Labor’s plan will make sure that all older Australians in residential aged care are getting real food, which is fresh, healthy, nutritious, tasty, and safe.

Why do we need this?

Older Australians helped build this country - working hard, paying taxes and raising families.

But the Aged Care Royal Commission found up to two thirds of aged care residents are at risk of malnourishment – literally starving in the care of their government.

The Royal Commission also heard evidence of unacceptable standards of food with a lack of fresh ingredients, over and under cooked, no variety and described as ‘like dog food’.

Malnourishment can have a huge impact on the health of aged care residents. Increasing the risk of falls, fractures or ending up in hospital.

It’s a national disgrace.

This isn’t just about the money. It’s about basic standards. The Morrison Government is currently paying providers a Basic Daily Fee – without any real strings attached.

Labor will make sure this money is used for the things that matter, like quality care and good food.

A good meal is one of the simple pleasures of life. Aged care residents in a country like Australia deserve this basic level of dignity.

The details

An Albanese Labor Government will act on the recommendations of the Aged Care Royal Commission by putting in place:

  • New mandatory aged care food standards – to make sure aged care residents get real food, which is fresh, healthy, nutritious, tasty, and safe. The standards will respect cultural, religious, and dietary requirements.

  • Mandatory reporting rules – to make sure the Basic Daily Fee paid to providers is used for care and nutrition. Public reporting of expenditure on care, nutrition, food, kitchen staff and more will be required.

Labor will work with experts, providers, and aged care residents to develop practical aged care food standards and mandatory reporting rules.