Hospital hygiene slammed in report
Hundreds of hospital kitchens are dirty, have infestations of pests or are stocking out-of-date food, it was reported today.
Inspectors found that three quarters of kitchens were flouting food hygiene rules while nearly a third were not properly cleaned, according to MailOnline.
An analysis of 769 environmental health inspection reports revealed that 581 hospitals across Britain are breaking the rules, the report said.
Inspectors found 229 kitchens were dirty while 62 had out-of-date food.
The website said it had obtained copies of reports carried out by environmental health teams under the Freedom of Information Act.
They found problems with mice, cockroaches or rats in various hospitals around the country.
One example found that inspectors at Queen Mary's Hospital, Sidcup, found mouse droppings and a "serious cockroach infestation that posed an imminent risk to health" in an undercroft last November.
The hospital was ordered to explain why the kitchen should not be shut down and it carried out a deep clean.
Another problem was discovered at Mile End Hospital, London, where environmental health officers found mouse droppings on shelves in the kitchen, the website reported.
An inspector reported: "Evidence of mouse droppings found on dry storage shelf and to base of preparation table in the kitchen."
Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust runs Queen Mary's, Sidcup, though only since the start of this month.
A spokesman said: "We took over ownership of the Queen Mary's Hospital site on October 1 2013. We became aware of the problems identified at the canteen in November 2012 whilst carrying out our due diligence assessments prior to taking over the hospital.
"We also noted that the environmental health officer reported that he 'was very impressed with the improvements which have been made and maintained' when he carried out a repeat inspection in May 2013.
"We take food hygiene very seriously and will work closely with the contractor at Queen Mary's to ensure cleanliness standards are maintained, in keeping with the excellent standards we have in our other NHS properties."
The hospital was previously run by South London Healthcare NHS Trust, which has been dissolved, he said.
A spokeswoman for Barts Health NHS Trust, which runs Mile End Hospital, said: "The high levels of hygiene and cleanliness witnessed during the inspection resulted in Tower Hamlets Environmental Health awarding us a five star rating - the highest possible score - following their visit a year ago.
"Urgent steps were immediately taken to eradicate a small problem in the dry food storage area where there was evidence of mouse droppings on a shelf.
"There has been no sign of further pest activity since. In May this year, Barts Health was once again awarded a five star rating for the high levels of hygiene and cleanliness at Mile End Hospital."