New 1:1 Nurse to Refrigerator Ratio Policy at Local Healthcare System


After many months of deliberation, Minneapolis based healthcare system, Minto Hospital Health has decided to implement new safety regulations for all refrigerators located throughout the health system.

Earlier this month an elongated debate at the hospital’s monthly Forum occurred between administrative and healthcare staff about the amount of time, stress, and energy it took when someone’s lunch went missing. “I used to bring my lunch every day, and spent hours meal prepping for the week, only to find out someone had eaten it,” said Karen an ICU nurse of 23 years.

Peter Diplo (CEO – Minto Hospital Health) stated: “After we received several hundred complaints of nurse’s lunches being eaten, disappearing, or their overly large lunch bags being removed from the refrigerator altogether, and after this heated debate at our monthly Forum, it has become obvious that we must put safety measures in place to secure everyone’s lunch. Not only to garner back that lost nutritional value, but also the peace of mind of all our nurses.”

Director of Nursing, Betty Davis stated: “Because we are so overstaffed at our locations here in Pinto, Minnesota, we have already implemented a 1:1 nurse to refrigerator ratio in order to better serve and protect our staff and their lunches. Refrigerator duty, as we’re calling it, should eliminate the amount of food being stolen, removed or eaten by others.”

We here at Next Move visited one of the ICUs at Minto Hospital Health and interviewed staff nurses about the healthcare system’s new policy. Jeff Hercules, an ICU nurse for eight years said: “I will miss the daily tuna fish sandwiches named Linda that just happened to be in the refrigerator every morning. Who names a tuna fish sandwich Linda? I looked forward to my time with Linda, so I’m little sad that the hospital has decided to take this away.” Victoria Premadero, a CNA on the floor, said: “I personally think this isn’t right and will miss the days I was able to bring my oversized lunch bag and get my little workout in trying to close the refrigerator door every morning. It’s just not ok they’re taking away my right to exercise. And I always looked forward to my salad because I started my diet again.”


The 1:1 nurse to refrigerator ratio, taken to protect lunch instead of patients, has been seen by some patients as outright scandalous: “We should be their first priority, not their food,” said Maria Delgaro of St. Paul, Minnesota.


“Although we understand that patients do come first, we must do what we need to, to protect those lunches so our nurses don’t go hangry,” ICU Director, Dave Minnis said.

The healthcare system has also implemented “TSA” bag size requirements for all refrigerated bags. “I’ve seen lunch bags the size of morgue carts,” said Director of Security, Brad Dunges. “I get reports everyday of spoiled food, stolen chicken salad, and meal preppers gone rogue. Never argue with a meal prepper or Keto nurse,” he continued.

Minto Hospital Health hopes the new measure will give nurses some peace of mind knowing their food won’t be removed from the refrigerators and allow more space for other nurses who are trying some new delicacies.

“The fact that I can bring my lunch and 5 bottles for breastfeeding gives me peace of mind. I no longer have to worry if someone will use my breast milk for creamer or eat up all my carrots and ranch dressing,” said Janice Nub, an ER nurse with six kids.

The new policy officially goes into effect January 14, 2021, but many hospitals at Minto Hospital Health have already started implementing this new measure. We here at Next Move will follow this story for updates.



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