According to a report in today's edition of The Daily Telegraph, patients in many New South Wales, Australia hospitals have to worry about the safety of the food they are served. A recent audit found that 166 out of 171 hospitals were out of compliance with new hygiene and safety laws. Four of the hospitals failed the audit completely.
Infractions documented at the participating hospitals included poor control of food storage temperatures, use of foods beyond their "best before" dates, unclean can openers, and a lack of pest control records.
The New South Wales Food Authority released the results of this "voluntary" audit as the result of a Freedom of Information request. But the government agency declined to name the hospitals that had failed the audit, on the grounds that this might interfere with the "business affairs" of those hospitals and might make them less willing to participate in future audits.
It's bad enough when restaurants are guilty of hygiene and food handling infractions. It's infinitely worse when hospitals neglect their responsibility to their patients by preparing and serving food that could make even a healthy person ill.
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