.14 Dietary Services.

A. The facility shall ensure sufficient numbers of trained and qualified staff to meet the nutritional needs of residents served by the facility.

B. Nutritional Needs. The facility shall ensure that:

(1) A resident is provided three meals in a common dining area and additional snacks during each 24-hour period, 7 days a week;

(2) Meals and snacks are well-balanced, varied, palatable, properly prepared, and of sufficient quality and quantity to meet the daily nutritional needs of each resident with specific attention given to the preferences and needs of each resident;

(3) All food is prepared in accordance with all State and local sanitation and safe food handling requirements;

(4) Food preparation areas are maintained in accordance with all State and local sanitation and safe food handling requirements;

(5) Residents have access to snacks during the evening hours; and

(6) Staff prepares or arranges for the provision of therapeutic or special diets as ordered by the resident's physician or as needed by the resident's condition.

C. The facility shall ensure that menus are:

(1) Written at least 1 week in advance with portion sizes to meet the residentís dietary needs; and

(2) Maintained on file, as served, for 2 months.

D. Dining Room. A facility shall provide a well-lit, adequately ventilated, and appropriately furnished dining area.

E. Food Service.

(1) A facility shall have a kitchen that has adequate:

(a) Storage, refrigerator, and freezer space for perishable and nonperishable foods;

(b) Food preparation area or areas with cleanable surfaces;

(c) Equipment to deliver foods at safe and palatable temperatures;

(d) Space and equipment to wash, sanitize, and store utensils;

(e) Space to store and clean garbage cans;

(f) Ice-making capabilities;

(g) Equipment for the preparation of food; and

(h) Equipment for serving and distributing food to residents.

(2) A facilityís dietary services shall be licensed by the local health department and comply with the requirements of COMAR 10.15.03.