‘Root and Branch’ review of hospital food

The Hospital Caterers Association has welcomed a proposed review of hospital food.

Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock called for the review following several deaths linked to a recent listeria outbreak. The Government is working with the Hospital Caterers Association to build progress in three vital areas: eliminating junk food from hospitals, improving nutrition and ensuring healthier choices are available across the NHS.

HCA spokesman Stewart Mckenzie, said: “Patient safety is the HCA’s absolute highest priority and we can all play a part in delivering it.
“In the meantime, we ask all caterers and ward staff to remind hospital visitors, whilst they are very welcome to bring in snacks for patients such as pre-wrapped cakes, biscuits and fruit, they must not bring on to the wards takeaways, cooked rice, cooked meats, meat products, fish products and shell eggs. These prohibited products have a short shelf life and can easily go ‘off’ without any noticeable change to smell, colour or taste and therefore pose a risk. We must all be vigilant.”

The HCA has produced several documents to support hospital caterers including a Good Practice Guide, which is available online www.hospitalcaterers.org