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Date: 14th May 2004.

UNISON call for sacking of private contractors following TV food expose

Scotland's largest health care union UNISON have today called on the Scottish Executive to sack the private catering companies at Glasgow and Edinburgh Royal Infirmaries following last night's (Thursday) expose on Channel 4 which highlighted unacceptable breaches of food hygiene regulations.

Speaking today UNISON Scottish Organiser on Health Jim Devine said: "Last night's expose on Channel Four highlights unacceptable breaches of food hygiene regulations.

"Recruitment and training policies were shown as flawed. The most worrying being the working practices, which prevailed in the factory The programme showed one worker spitting frozen peas back into patients' meals while another worker ate chips from a plate and dipped them into a communal gravy tin.

"Food containers were inadequately cleaned to the extent that E-coli was identified as being present.

Scotland needs no reminding about the devastation that E-coli can cause."

He added: "The food processing procedure literally removed from the meals the vital ingredients that patients need for recovery.

" Last year UNISON Scotland launched its ‘Food for Good' campaign which called on the National Health Service to cook traditional food on the day of consumption and in order to do this, the service would have to be brought in house. This campaign has attracted cross -party support in the Scottish Parliament and that is why I can today call on the Scottish Executive to sack the private contractors from Glasgow and Edinburgh Royal Infirmaries and bring the service in-house."


For Further Information Please Contact: Jim Devine on 07876 441239 or Ahrlene Ferguson on 0141 342 2819.

Chris Bartter (Communications Officer) 0845 355 0845(w) 0771 558 3729(m)




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