£1m food wasted by hospitals31st July 2008
Statistics obtained by the BBC have shown that £1 million worth of food is "wasted" annually by health service hospitals.
The BBC gained access to the data under the Freedom of Information Act and found there were significant variations in the amount of wastage at different NHS hospitals.
Northampton General was one of the least wasteful hospitals, with a rate of 3.5%, costing £14,000 per annum.
The hospital's average spend per head was £1.70 daily and it provides 432,000 meals annually.
The hospitals with the highest amount of food wasted were Ipswich Hospital, with 14.7% of meals served and at a cost of £133,500, and Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge with 12%, costing £190,452.
Ipswich Hospital said: "We send a choice of food to each ward each meal time...this inevitably results in some waste."
Southend Hospital was successful in reducing the amount of food it wasted.
The Trust previously threw away nearly 25% of its food, but after introducing a new plan they reduced waste by 50% to about 11%.
Norfolk and Norwich Hospital wasted 9% of its food. Meals are made for the hospital by a private company called Serco.
The company said: "We have carried out extensive research...to determine what information should be made available under the Freedom of Information Act."
"The result of this is that it any information relating to the cost of wastage at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital is not a requirement and therefore is not recorded by Serco."
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Title: £1m food wasted by hospitals
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 7769
Date Added: 31st Jul 2008