Bathurst hospital food: New complaint over standard of meals

NO THANKS: The beef stroganoff and vegetables served to a 15-month-old girl at Bathurst Hospital on Monday night.
NO THANKS: The beef stroganoff and vegetables served to a 15-month-old girl at Bathurst Hospital on Monday night.

BATHURST Base Hospital has again come under fire for the quality of food served to patients after a 15-month-old girl was given beef stroganoff described by her mother as "inedible".

Lilith Roberts was admitted to hospital on Sunday afternoon but it was the meal delivered to her for dinner on Monday that disgusted her mother, Emily.

Ms Roberts said Lilith would not touch the food and when she tried it herself she found it was far too spicy for a toddler.

"I mentioned it to the nursing staff and kitchen staff and the response was that there was not another hot meal available but they could offer her a sandwich," she said.

Ms Roberts said she would not have fed the brown stew offered to Lilith to her animals, let alone her daughter.

"My daughter is in hospital quite regularly and usually the food is OK," she said, "but that was disgusting."

Bathurst Health Service general manager Cathy Marshall defended the quality of food served at the hospital, saying all meals met the standards set out in the Agency of Clinical Innovation Nutrition in Hospitals policy.

Ms Marshall said the beef stroganoff meal served to Lilith was from the menu for patients aged one to three.

The meals come frozen or cryvaced [vacuum sealed] to the hospital and are sourced from various locations.

Bathurst Health Service general manager Cathy Marshall

"The meals served to patients at Bathurst Hospital are created by certified vendors and hospital staff who work to strict protocols to ensure what is provided to patients meets health and nutritional standards, and there are no plans to change that system," she said. "... The meals come frozen or cryvaced [vacuum sealed] to the hospital and are sourced from various locations."

Ms Marshall said family members could take in meals for patients but hospital staff would provide nutritional information to ensure the meals were appropriate.

"Food options at Bathurst Hospital are developed by a local on-site hospital dietician and a Western NSW Local Health District dietician," Ms Marshall said.

"We offer a 14-day menu from which patients can select their choice of hot food with ... vegetables, salad and/or sandwiches.

"Meals are also made to meet specific patient dietary requirements."

Ms Marshall said that under NSW health regulations, patients, family members and friends had the option of making verbal or written complaints.

"We take all complaints seriously and will continually work to improve our hospital service," she said.

Ms Roberts' complaint comes 12 months after hospital kitchen staff believed they were unfairly targeted by hospital management over a substandard plate of food served to a patient as an evening meal.

A kitchen staff member told the Western Advocate at the time that they tried to meet patients' needs, but most food was simply heated and plated by hospital staff.

This story Hospital serves up beef stroganoff to a 15-month-old first appeared on Western Advocate.