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Hospital food sourced from poor conditions

15th November 2012

Concerns have been raised over the sources of hospital food in England.

chickens1

Findings from a study by the RSPCA and the Campaign for Better Hospital Food say that meat and eggs used in hospital meals does not meet the animal welfare standards generally expected by consumers.

The survey by the two organisations found that most chicken, eggs and pork served came from animals reared in basic welfare conditions and have urged the government to take action to address the matter.

David Bowles, head of public affairs at the RSPCA, said: “It is strange that just when you are at your weakest, you are served food that may not be to your taste and can be from animals kept under intensive conditions.

“Even hospitals serving food made from free range eggs in their coffee shops and cafeterias are still delivering food made with cage eggs to patients.”

The two organisations surveyed every hospital trust in England and found that 71% of eggs used in cooking came from hens kept in cages while around 80% of chicken and pork was from animals reared in conditions that do not meet RSPCA welfare standards.

They say this contrasts with supermarket shopping trends, where consumers are increasingly taking account of animal welfare.

The Department of Health wants the NHS to serve food for patients that is tasty, nutritious and sourced ethically.

“Individual hospitals decide where they buy their food from, but we are encouraging them to adopt the government’s buying standards for food,” said a spokesman.

 

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