More than half a million euro was spent on food for patients in South Tipperary General Hospital last year.
The exact total for 2019 was €504,312, according to figures obtained by The Nationalist under the Freedom of Information Act.
The expenditure on patients’ food for the first five months of this year is €251,156.
According to a hospital spokesperson, a full analysis of the diet in South Tipperary General Hospital was carried out in 2015.
The regular diet contains an average of 2,100 kcals (kilocalories) and 95 grammes protein, which is compliant with the national guidelines Food and Nutrition and Hydration Policy for Adult Patients in Acute Hospitals November 2018.
According to the hospital spokesperson, the Department of Health complies with the national HIQA (acute/care of the elderly) and Mental Health Commission standards.
The hospital also has an internal food safety policy.
Meals are available daily for all levels of modified diets (as outlined by Dietetic department) as well as Halal, vegan and vegetarian.
Special dietary variations are provided for patients with conditions including high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
Therapeutic diets are available for patients with specific dietary needs or who have difficulty swallowing, or have a known food allergy.
These include diets that are gluten-free, high protein, high calorie, low potassium, low phosphate, light diet (post surgery), minced and moist diet, easy to chew, liquidised, low residue, low salt, liver diet, low fat, diabetic, soft and bite-sized and pureed.
Staff are unable to store refrigerated foods or to reheat food that has not been provided by the hospital.
A typical breakfast includes fruit juice/boiled egg; a selection of cereals (such as porridge, cornflakes, weetabix and krispies ); tea/coffee; and a selection of breads/toast.
Lunch includes a choice of starter – soup/egg mayonnaise; main course – joint of the day (such as bacon, pork , beef, chicken or turkey); or deep fried breaded fish/fresh fish or cold meat salad.
Dessert includes a selection of milk puddings on different days/trifle/bread and butter pudding /mousse etc. and tea /coffee.
An evening meal may consist of a cold meat salad or a hot meal varying from sausage/rasher/wedges; scrambled egg and toast/tomato; sausage rolls and tomato; fish pie; chicken pie; chicken vol au vents; shepherd’s pie and fish fingers and chips.
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