Hospital patients are eating meals cooked and frozen months before they’re served up

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HOSPITAL patients are eating food cooked and frozen months earlier.

Around a fifth of all hot meals served on the NHS are made at a single factory in Wiltshire.

� Andrew Lloyd

Sick hospital patients are eating food cooked and frozen months earlier[/caption]

Once frozen and tested, they are kept in a storage unit near the M5 in Bristol for two months before being delivered.

And more unusual products made by Apetito can be stored for up to a year before they get to patients.

The NHS is thought to buy in half of all its hot meals from external suppliers.

Questions have been raised over its reliance on mass- ­produced food since a listeria outbreak in May killed five.


And campaigners are sceptical about the use of reheated ready meals. Rob Percival, of the Soil Association, said patients “deserve real food”.

But Paul Freeston, chief exec of Apetito, which was not involved in the listeria scandal,  says public perception of mass-produced food is “outdated”.

He added: “Our system is about serving to patients when [the food] is at its best.”

� Andrew Lloyd

Some product made by meal provider Apetito can be stored for up to a year before they get to patients[/caption]

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