CASH comment:  Government’s voluntary approach to improving hospital food is not working

In an article published on bmj.com today, Katharine Jenner, Chair of the Campaign for Better Hospital Food and CASH Campaign Director, argues that only by setting legally binding standards for hospital food can it ensure that patients get served high quality, nourishing meals.

The article highlighted the findings of a survey of hospital meals by the Campaign for Better Hospital Food. It found that three out of every four hospital meals would qualify for a red light, under the Food Standards Agency’s traffic light model, for high saturated fat, and 15 of the 25 meals surveyed contain more salt than a Big Mac.

Furthermore, the article mentions that most British public sector institutions already have to adhere to mandatory standards for the meals they serve and further questions why there are no mandatory standards in English hospitals.

CASH strongly supports the call for legally binding standards for hospital food and encourages the government to consider this option.

“The last thing the NHS needs is patients becoming more unwell because of the food served in hospitals. Raised blood pressure is one of the leading causes of death in the UK. Most cases of raised blood pressure are attributed to the excessively high levels of salt in our diet, therefore in order to prevent further unnecessary deaths, we must reduce our salt intake. Therefore, hospitals should be leading by example, serving food that is healthy and nutritious and most importantly low in salt ” says Katharine Jenner.

Click here for more information.