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Leo: Some hospitals do a great job with food... some Dublin ones, not so much

The Health Minister plans to meet with Michelin-starred chef Oliver Dunne over the issue.

Image: Lisa Carey

LEO VARADKAR HAS said that there are some hospitals that “do a great job” of providing nutritious food to patients but admitted some facilities in the capital are lagging behind.

The Health Minister was speaking as he prepares to meet a Michelin-starred chef to discuss how to improve the quality of meals served in Irish hospitals.

It follows renewed criticism of the quality of food with Oliver Dunne, owner of Bon Appetit and Cleaver East, campaigning on the issue since he witnessed “lacklustre” food served to his wife in Dublin’s Mater hospital.

Dunne believes the food can be improved at a low cost. Varadkar said this morning that the pair are struggling to find a time that is mutually convenient but hopes the meeting can go ahead shortly.

“Maybe dinner rather than lunch,” he said. “I think he’s in Malahide and I am in Blanchardstown, but we’ll find somewhere on the northside of the city, subject to the agreement of the hospital of course, to try out some of the food.”

Varadkar said there is “quite a variation” between hospitals, saying some do a great job of providing nutritious food.

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“The Cavan-Monaghan hospitals are actually a very good example of that, some of the Dublin ones, not so much,” he said.

Last year, the Coombe Maternity hospital carried out a review of its menus after a photo of a meal served to a woman in the hospital was brought to its attention by TheJournal.ie.

Meetings between chefs and Varadkar have been criticised by the opposition as “publicity stunts”. Fianna Fáil TD Colm Keaveney said meetings were not going to change the fact that budgets have been reduced.

Read: Varadkar to meet with Michelin-starred chef who wants to improve hospital food

More: White bread, butter and chips? Hospital food is not good enough, says TD >

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Hugh O'Connell

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