Good Food Blog
Hospital foodPosted at 11:36AM, 05 August 2008 by Mary Cadogan - Food writer
Having recently spent a week in hospital, I can tell you that although the care I received was fantastic, the food was appalling, verging on the inedible. This being France, the expectations were high and family and friends were agog to find out what I was served, and whether I had wine with my meals (sadly, no). I can safely say that what I was given was at least as dire, if not worse than anything you would expect from the most run-down NHS gaff where the general rule is that you tell your visitors to forget flowers and chocolate and instead bring in tempting morsels, fruit and muesli, both to avoid the daily threat of suppositories and to save yourself from certain starvation.
The sad thing is that once you start to recover from the effects of the anesthetic, mealtimes become incredibly important in breaking up the tedium of the day, especially if you are in solitary confinement, as I was. You look forward to the nurse breezing in three times a day with your tray, and always hope that this time it will bear something vaguely edible. Alas, it was not to be.
Day one was white fish with white rice, no sauce, no nothing apart from a lonely half moon of lemon. Day two was a dish which is still a mystery to me. It looked like three pure white skinless sausages with the texture of cold semolina and a tepid pink sauce poured over, served with a mountain of beans which in another life had been green but by the time they reached my plate had succumbed to a nasty greyness. Most days the starter was a thin soup which was always totally unseasoned, so a whole sachet of salt had to be added to give it any flavour. A small piece of cheese and a eurotrash bread roll adorned the tray each day and, although I don't normally eat cheese, this became a highlight.
The joke is that if you spend a week in hospital you come out less healthy that when you went in...
Not once did I see a lettuce leaf, fresh tomato, or salad of any kind. I noticed that each day my paper napkin bore the logo of an international catering company that I presume churns out this low-cost high-profit rubbish to hospitals all over Europe. The joke is that if you spend a week in hospital you come out less healthy that when you went in, but if that's funny, I'm not laughing.
Is there a non-private hospital out there that is serving good food on a budget? I'd love to know.