Dirty hospitals serve out-of-date food to patients

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Dirty hospitals are serving out-of-date food to patients, an investigation has found.

Meals are being prepared in mouldy kitchens, putting vulnerable patients at 'high risk' of food poisoning, while others have unclean worktops, food trolleys and sinks.

Food hygiene reports obtained under the Freedom of Information Act and data from the Food Standards Agency also revealed poor rankings for hundreds of care homes and children's nurseries across the country.

Some 400 hospitals, hospices, care homes, nurseries and school clubs are currently listed as needing 'major', 'urgent' or 'necessary' improvement. One care home was infested with cockroaches while another had evidence of rats.

The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme - which rates organisations and businesses from zero to five - is run by the FSA and councils in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Overall, eight health and care premises currently have a zero rating - urgent improvement necessary. None are hospitals.

Some 187 have a rating of one - major improvement necessary. Three of these are hospital premises.

And 205 are ranked as two - improvement necessary. They include six hospitals and about 100 care homes.

The full list of all the premises and rankings has not yet been released.

An FSA spokeswoman said: "An overwhelming majority, almost 99 per cent, of hospitals and other care providers achieve a food hygiene rating of three - 'generally satisfactory' - or better.

"The food safety officer from the local authority will be taking the necessary action to ensure that the issues identified at caring premises with a lower rating are addressed and that vulnerable people are not put at risk."

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