Monday, 6 May 2013

Hospital Food - do they expect you to eat it?

I recently had to spend the night in hospital. Nothing to worry about, just my every couple of year review!

Almost as soon as I got there I was asked to pick what I wanted for supper from a very uninspiring list. I went for the leek and potato soup followed by chicken casserole - couldn't be that bad could it? Side of vegetables and rice pudding for dessert.

Well, lets start with the soup! It was light green and thick. That was where the resemblance to leek and potato soup ended. The texture was grainy and there was no taste. Even after adding salt & pepper some My Secret Kitchen Tapenade with Smoked Garlic (I just happened to have a couple of pots of MSK with me - never leave home without some!) it was still hard to eat. The tapenade at least made it taste of something that came out of a kitchen.

The chicken casserole was a glutinous sauce (with silver skin onions for texture) a few mushrooms and pieces of the sort of cooked chicken that you buy for convenience sandwiches! This was served with cold chips and shrivelled peas.

At least there was rice pudding to look forward to! Wrong - this was a thick mash made from ground rice with no taste or sweetness whatsoever! Again thanks for the Maple Caramel Sauce pot I had with me.
Breakfast was equally uninspiring - cold cereal and cold toast! And served at 07:15 when I wasn't really awake!

Now I know it's not easy to cater for large groups of people and on a strict budget but really could they not do better ?

HRH Prince Philip stayed at this hospital last year - did he get similar food? Probably not!

There are celebrity chefs working on improving hospital food, there are patient focus groups and panels looking into the standards and nutritional value of hospital food so why are they still serving up such poor meals ?

Hopefully the next time I have a review in a couple of years the food situation will have improved! What's your experience of hospital food? Tell me in the comment box below.


  1. I have to say that both Guy's and St Thomas' fed me pretty well when I was in for a prolonged stay about 10 years ago. My only complaint was that their curry was way too spicy for people who are confined to bed! ;-)
    Sorry that you didn't get such a good meal, but as we know there's nothing an MSK product can't improve anyways ;-) Maybe you can hold a tasting for staff and patients!

  2. I had an experience similar to yours, about 5 years ago. The worst bit was having to eat the food chosen for me by the previous patient occupying my bed. Before I "checked out" I had to do the dame thing - choose a meal for the next patient. How bizarre! The food itself was very uninspiring and usually cold. It's probably calculated to make you leave the hospital ASAP.