Following an investigation by health watchdogs, it was found that 8 of the 19 main hospitals in the North of the country had breached food safety regulations.
During visits to the hospitals between July 2010 and March 2011, inspectors found a total of 66 breaches of the Food Safety Act. These breaches were unearthed at 8 hospitals, some of which continued to rate highly on the Scores on the Doors food safety scheme.
The main problems included:
â€¢ Dirty floors
â€¢ Poor structural standards, including dampness and flaking paint on walls
â€¢ Damaged or unsuitable equipment (i.e. chopping boards, bins)
â€¢ Out-of-date food being stored
A number of issues uncovered at the under-performing hospitals could have been caused by low standards of food hygiene training amongst staff, but the problem could also be coming from management failing to properly implement food safety policy.
A Food Standards Agency spokesperson said:
â€œWe canâ€™t comment specifically about the Trusts in question as we do not know about the particular legal requirements that are being breached. However, food safety is very important for all food businesses including hospitals serving food.â€
It isnâ€™t all bad news, however, as the majority of hospitals inspected had no problems with food safety and scored well in recent inspections.