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Dublin: 2°C Monday 1 March 2021

UK hospitals to be fined for serving up unhealthy food

There have been calls to have a national standard of hospital food for Irish hospitals.

Image: Yui Mok

AS PART OF a crackdown on unhealthy food in hospitals the UK’S Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt plans to force hospitals to serve patients healthier food.

The Guardian reports that mandatory standards are to be introduced to stamp out poor quality food.

Hospitals will have to offer fruit to patients, reduce salt in meals and provide healthy meal-time options or face fines or losing out on contracts if the rules are breached.

Hospitals will not get away with serving up sub-standard food as every Friday every hospital in England will be ranked on the National Health Service (NHS) website.


Each hospital will be ranked in seven categories which include quality, choice and availability of fresh food.

Costings of meals will also be on the website, with the breakdown of what each hospital spends in total per day on food and drink, as well as a breakdown per patient.

Similar calls have been made to have this sort of initiative introduced in Irish hospitals.

Prompted by a constituent complaint about the food at University Hospital Waterford, Labour TD Ciara Conway has called for a national standard to be introduced here.

She said that when the health committee resumes it is something she will be raising.

In January 2013, it was found that sausage rolls and wedges were being served at the Coombe Woman and Infants University Hospital.

pastedimage-72760 This image prompted an immediate review of the menu at the hospital. The hospital has since made changes to its menu. Source: Lisa Carey/Twitter

Related: No more wedges and sausage rolls for patients at the Coombe

Also: Image of “unacceptable” meal prompts review of menu at the Coombe>

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