Ever wonder how our delicious and convenient meals reach your home from our kitchen? Find out in a Q&A session with Mom’s Meals® Chief Operating Officer Dan Mandolfo and Vice President of Production Jon Murray and get the scoop on our ready-to-heat-and-eat, refrigerated meals.
To begin, how many kitchens does Mom’s Meals have?
Dan: Mom’s Meals has three kitchens located in Grinnell, Iowa, North Jackson, Ohio, and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Grinnell is just about an hour from our home office in Ankeny. These facilities are pretty amazing places fully outfitted with state-of-the-art equipment for our professional chefs and their team.
Let’s talk about how you create meals customers love! How do you determine recipes?
Jon: As for our recipes, our research and development team of professional chefs and registered dietitian nutritionists work together to design nutritious meals – many medically tailored for specific chronic conditions. For example, we have nine condition-specific menus from general wellness to diabetes friendly to pureed. They know what ingredients work together not only to taste great but also stay within specific dietary guidelines, like less salt and lower fat for people with heart disease or lower carbohydrates for people with diabetes. All our meals meet current Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Our condition-specific menus meet standards of care guidelines for each condition. Whether people want to save time and eat in a nutritious way, are eating to help manage a chronic condition or are recovering from a hospital stay, we make it easier in a tasty and convenient way.
Can you tell us how you design your menus? The choices at Mom’s Meals stretch far and wide.
Jon: They certainly do! One menu can include as many as 60 choices at any given time. We seasonally change and add to our selections, taking into account customer feedback and preferences. For instance, we offer more soups in the fall and winter, and we add items like burgers and hot dogs in summer when cookouts are in full swing. We also get feedback from our online menu showdowns for our spring and fall menu items, where our voters choose the meals they would like to see on our menus. Of course, we always have our comfort foods like meatloaf and Salisbury steak, which are a huge hit with our customers!
Where do your ingredients come from?
Jon: We have a food safety team that ensures we meet the highest standards in food quality. We depend on a mix of regional and local suppliers and growers for our ingredients. Mom’s Meals only contracts with those we know will help us to maintain our excellent reputation for nutrient-rich, high-quality meals.
How does Mom’s Meals ensure food safety?
Dan: As far as food safety, we prepare and ship meals according to our own strict operational procedures. We also adhere to the standards of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA/FSIS) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). USDA/FSIS consumer safety inspectors are on-site daily at our manufacturing facilities to oversee operations and ensure our meals are safe and compliant.
Our active in-house auditing program includes internal controls like Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) Programs, active and validated Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) Plans, product testing, rigorous sanitation, and allergen control programs, as well as regular employee training and testing. Our facilities are also Safe Quality Food (SQF)-certified, which confirms that Mom’s Meals produces, processes, prepares and handles our food products to the highest possible standards globally.
Once you prepare meals in your kitchens, where do they go?
Dan: Meals from our kitchen are shipped daily under refrigeration to our fulfillment centers, of which we have four. They’re located in Ankeny, Iowa, North Jackson, Ohio, Las Vegas, Nevada, and Conyers, Georgia. All meals remain temperature-controlled, so they stay in perfect condition when they arrive at homes.
Can you explain the fulfillment process?
Dan: Every order is customized for each client and packed to order. In addition to the meals themselves, our packaging really sets us apart. Mom’s Meals ships at refrigerated temperatures, and our meals keep in the refrigerator for 14 days from delivery. Next, depending on a customer’s location, our fulfilled packages go into Mom’s Meals refrigerated trucks out for delivery or are picked up by a third-party shipper like UPS or FedEx. All third-party packages contain gel packs to ensure food stays at the appropriate temperature on the journey to our customer.
Finally, let’s talk about your drivers at Mom’s Meals. What is your delivery team like?
Dan: I can tell you they’re nothing short of top-notch. Our drivers serve as the face of Mom’s Meals. They’re professional and reliable, and they get to know the people who receive our meals. They build relationships with our customers. It’s not uncommon for our drivers and customers to be on a first-name basis. That speaks volumes.
Discover more about Mom's Meals
Browse our 60+ tasty meal options and condition-specific menus.
Haven’t tried Mom’s Meals yet? We work with health plans, managed care organizations, state governments and agencies to provide people covered under Medicare and Medicaid with access to medically tailored, condition-specific meals for free or at a reduced cost. If you do not qualify for this kind of assistance, you can also purchase meals direct. Find out if you qualify.