Luton & Dunstable Hospital accused of wasting 44% of food

Tasty meal or best left uneaten?
Tasty meal or best left uneaten?

Luton & Dunstable Hospital stand accused of wasting 44% of food served to patients, according to figures from the Campaign for Better Hospital Food.

The research published today found that hospitals across the UK threw away on average 26% of patients’ food.

Much of this was apparently due to food being left uneaten on plates after serving.

The campaign claims this research shows up to 30m patient meals being binned each year.

Alex Jackson, of the Campaign for Better Hospital Food, said: “These shocking figures lift the lid on the appalling state of hospital food in our country.

“Patients need nourishing, wholesome meals which are appetising and tasty to eat, not soulless, factory-made food they clearly can’t stomach.”

According to the research, 490,448 meals were served to patients last year by Luton & Dunstable Hospital.

It claimed that 10.5% of food ordered in by the hospital was wasted during preparation, without being served to patients at all.

And it added that of the food served to patients, 44.1% was subsequently disposed of uneaten.

Luton & Dunstable Hospital disputed the figures published in the research, claiming their food wastage was as little as just under 9%.

A hospital spokesman said: “Since 2012 the Luton and Dunstable University Hospital has reduced its food wastage by 4% to 8.88% in June 2015.

“We have worked hard to reduce the wastage but there are often other factors that influence our ability to minimise waste.

“The main reasons for food wastage at the L&D are patients being discharged,a change to a patient’s diet, for example where a patient must not have food or drink.

“Or if a patient has changed their menu choice, or the relocation of a patient to another ward.

“We carry out audits twice a month in order for us to ensure minimal food wastage and to help deliver the best possible service for patients.”

But the Campaign for Better Food insists its independent research is accurate.

Mr Jackson added: “The government has been steadfast in its refusal to have the quality of hospital food and hospital food waste monitored by an independent organisation.

“Instead it’s happy to use dodgy statistics to bury the true extent of patient dissatisfaction with what they’re being served.

“We want the government to fix hospital food for good by setting higher hospital food standards, putting them into legislation and getting meals independently inspected by a trusted organisation.”