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General Health

Bad Hospital Food Strikes Again?

I recently wrote a blog entry about the poor quality of hospital food in the UK after watching a reality-based TV series about a world renowned chef trying to improve the nutrition and quality of food served to patients... especially children.

It seems the trend of serving unpalatable (and probably low quality) meals to patients has spread to a hospital in New Zealand. According to this article, a woman is claiming that she was served poor quality food during her recent admission to a hospital.

Now this may just be a case of one person’s opinion versus the hospital’s menu...the article also doesn’t reveal any comments from other patients at the same hospital.

Whether the hospital in question does actually serve bad food or not cannot be verified. However, the issue itself should be something that every hospital catering service needs to take seriously.

A patient’s recovery should be a hospital’s primary when it comes to the patient’s meals, this objective shouldn’t be diverted for any reason.

Sorry for sounding a little cynical, but a part of me cannot help but wonder if some hospitals insist on serving poor quality food that’s low in nutritional value to simply get the patients back in. I know this is probably far from the truth but it does make you think doesn’t it?

There are hospitals out there that actually have excellent catering facilities and the meals that get served to patients are really good.

In fact, I recently visited a friend in hospital here in Christchurch and he raved about the menu saying the food could rival any restaurant menu. Since he is a food writer and hospitality consultant, you can’t help but take him seriously when it comes to food quality, taste and nutrition.

I suppose it depends on the hospital cannot slap them all with the ‘bad food stamp’. On the other hand, if you require immediate medical care and need to get to an emergency room quickly, it’s not really ideal to request the ambulance driver to head to the hospital on the other end of town that serves good food.

In an ideal world, every hospital should be serving highly nutritious tasty food to its patients...unfortunately this isn’t so. It seems that the best way to ensure you avoid bad hospital food is to reduce your chances of ending up in one. Obviously accidents can happen but when it comes to degenerative health conditions that eventually require hospital treatment, you must remember that many of these ailments are have the choice to live a healthy lifestyle by getting the right nutrients everyday, eating a balanced diet and getting enough exercise.

If you do however choose to live an unhealthy lifestyle, then there’s a good chance that bad hospital food will be the least of your worries. Make 2012 the year you get your health back on track!


  • “I spent many weeks in an NHS hospital in London when I was pregnant (wont mention any names), and I was pretty shocked at the food, in a place where they’re supposed to be helping people get healthy. It was mostly revolting and nutritionally void. I couldnt wait to get out of there so I could get back to a healthy diet. As much as I appreciated having free health care and some of the staff were working very hard, I felt that being in hospital was making me sicker. (This is not to mention the filth – previous patients blood on machines, cockroaches in the toilets, dirty bedpans lying around…) ”

    Jacinda January 27 2012

  • “I live in the UK ,and certainly there are bad hospitals as well as excellent  ,but my Sister in Law was recently in a Bath hospital,and the food was amazingly good,and the care and friendliness was second to non. I to have had several spells in hospital and i cannot fault it at all…….and when there is any urgency  the patient gets immediate care. I will always praise our National Health Service……..the problem is that there are far to many people going into hospital for very minor things,when really they could go into a Pharmacy.”

    Roddy January 21 2012

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