Almost half of all hospital kitchens in England fail to meet basic hygiene levels

Nearly half of all hospital kitchens in England are failing to meet basic standards of cleanliness, with evidence of medical waste found on food handling equipment, staff with poor standards of hygiene and infestations of cockroaches and mice, according to inspection reports.

Inspections at 377 hospitals in England revealed that nearly one-fifth of hospitals were failing to store food at the correct temperature and 18 contained food that was out of date. The findings are the result of a Freedom of Information request submitted to a quarter of all English local authorities requesting health inspection reports into food preparation areas in hospitals.

Cockroaches, mouse droppings and vermin were found at 11 of the hospitals and 173 displayed poor cleanliness. Sixty-eight fell below the legal requirements for food storage conditions, and 57 had staff with poor personal hygiene.

Hospital kitchens fail to meet basic hygiene levels (The Guardian, 13 August 2007)