- Inspectors found ‘serious cockroach infestation that posed an imminent health risk’ and mouse droppings at Queen Mary’s Hospital, Sidcup
- Brown sauce a YEAR past its best before found at Workington Hospital
- 30 per cent of hospital kitchens were dirty, inspectors found
- 62 kitchens were found to be stocking out of date
- Six hospital kitchens had mice, two had rats and five had cockroaches
- MailOnline obtained copies of inspection reports for hospitals nationwide
Hundreds of hospital kitchens across the country are dirty, have cockroach and mice infestations or are stocking out of date food, a MailOnline investigation has revealed.
Inspectors found that three-quarters of kitchens are flouting basic food hygiene rules while nearly a third were not properly cleaned.
Six NHS hospitals had mice, two had rats, five had cockroaches and another hospital had an unspecified problem with ‘pests’.
Infestation: Cockroach egg cases found by inspectors in an undercroft at Queen Mary’s Hospital in Sidcup during an inspection last year. They wrote that they posed ‘an imminent health risk’. The pictures were in documents released to the MailOnline under the Freedom of Information Act
Large cockroaches: A number of dead cockroaches are photographed in a trap in an undercroft by an environmental health inspector investigating the kitchens at Queen Mary’s Hospital, Sidcup
‘Serious infestation’: More cockroaches can be seen on the wall and ceiling of the undercroft in another photo taken by environmental health teams from Bexley Council.
The figures will raise fears that patients are being put at risk by dirty kitchens and staff ignoring proper hygiene policy.
Nationwide, hospitals spend as little as £3 a day per patient – and 82,000 meals a day are thrown out.
Campaigners said it is unacceptable that the public never find out about dirty kitchens ‘until they are teased out using Freedom of Information requests’.
An analysis of 769 environmental health inspection reports revealed that 581 hospitals across Britain are breaking the rules.
Inspectors found 229 kitchens were dirty while a further 62 were stocking out of date food.
The MailOnline obtained copies of reports carried out by environmental health teams under the Freedom of Information Act.
Inspectors at Queen Mary’s Hospital in Sidcup, Kent, found mouse droppings and a ‘serious cockroach infestation that posed an imminent risk to health’ in an undercroft last November.
The Bexley Council workers found there had been a cockroach ‘population explosion’ – but it had been missed by pest control teams.
‘Imminent health risk’: Inspectors at Queen Mary’s Hospital, Sidcup, found a cockroach infestation and mouse droppings
Pests: Mouse droppings are seen on a shelf by inspectors at Queen Mary’s Hospital, Sidcup. They carried out four follow-up visits
Dirt: A fat and grease deposit is seen in the undercroft at Queen Mary’s Hospital, Sidcup. After the inspection in November 2012 they carried out a deep clean
Mess: Inspectors take pictures of rubbish abandoned beneath lockers during their inspection at Queen Mary’s Hospital, Sidcup
Cleaning concerns: Inspectors took this picture which shows dirt in the corners of the kitchen which had not been properly cleaned at Queen Mary’s Hospital
The hospital was ordered by the council to explain why the kitchen should not be shut down and they promised to carry out an immediate deep clean.
Council inspectors carried out four daily follow-up visits to make sure that the problem was being dealt with.
Officers also found the kitchen was dirty.
In other serious breaches of food hygiene laws, Burnley General Hospital was issued with an improvement notice after oriental cockroaches were discovered ‘in various parts of the kitchen areas’. A spokeswoman said the incident in December last year had been swiftly dealt with.
And at West Park Rehabilitation Hospital, in Wolverhampton, inspectors wrote in January 2012 that a dead rat had been found in an electrical cupboard.
At Workington Community Hospital teams discovered a bottle of Daddies brown sauce which was a year past its best before.
At Mile End Hospital, environmental health officers found mouse droppings on shelves in the kitchen.
An inspector who visited the hospital in east London wrote: ‘Evidence of mouse droppings found on dry storage shelf and to base of preparation table in the kitchen.
‘IPM pest control carrying out visits weekly but not under controlled. Strongly advised to find source and prevent further pest entry into the kitchen.’
Inspectors at Warwick Hospital launched a probe after someone allegedly suffered food poisoning after eating breakfast in the hospital cafe in April 2012. However, they were unable to substantiate the complaint.
At Harefield Hospital, London, in May 2012, inspectors found patients were being forced to eat their meals off paper plates because the dishwasher had broken down.
And at St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester, inspectors found ham slices best before December 6 when they carried out an inspection on January 12 this year.
Dirty: Inspectors found mouse droppings on food on the kitchen floor at Mile End Hospital
Roger Goss, co-director of Patient Concern, said that patient food is forgotten by hospitals who focus all their efforts on treating patients.
‘These figures make a mockery of the mantra that patient safety is paramount on the NHS – they should not have bug-infected kitchens,’ he said.
‘All the focus is on clinical treatments and getting people in and out of hospital as quickly as possible. The things that get forgotten are cleaning and providing patients with good meals.
‘If a restaurant has a poor hygiene rating you can eat elsewhere but if you end up in hospital you have no choice but to eat the food you are served.
‘The NHS claims to be open and transparent but they hide the results of their kitchen inspection reports.
Cockroaches: Inspectors found oriental cockroaches in ‘various parts’ of the kitchen at Burnley General Hospital
‘We only ever find out about malpractice if it is teased out via a Freedom of Information request. Hospitals should publish these reports online immediately – that is true transparency.’
A spokesperson for NHS England, said: ‘Healthcare providers have a duty to ensure that the environment that food is prepared and stored in meets the highest standards of safety and hygiene.
‘Anything less is unacceptable and we would expect immediate action to be taken at any hospitals where these high standards aren’t being met.’
A spokesman for Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust which runs Queen Mary’s Hospital said they are working to ensure the kitchens are kept clean.
He said: ‘Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust took over ownership of the Queen Mary’s Hospital site on October 1.
Dead rat: Inspectors at West Park West Park Rehabilitation Hospital, in Wolverhampton wrote that a dead rat had been found outside the kitchen.
‘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 Environment 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.’
Graham Argent, Divisional Manager for Estates and Facilities at The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, which runs West Park Rehabilitation Hospital, in Wolverhampton, said: ‘The incident of a dead rat being found outside the kitchen of the hospital is a historical one, dating back to 2011.
‘Our pest control contractor treated the area and we also carried out a programme of measures to stop rodents being able to enter the underground ducts of the hospital.
‘We are happy to say that no further instances have been reported since then.’
A spokesman for Mile End Hospital said that it had been awarded an overall five-star rating for the kitchen.
‘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,’ he said.
By ROB COOPER | Copied from: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2441248/NHS-hospital-kitchens-overrun-mice-cockroaches.html