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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 July 2006, 16:05 GMT 17:05 UK
Hospitals win food hygiene award
Hospital ward
Patients in the hospitals receive "healthy, nutritious" food
Three hospitals in Lothian have become the first NHS hospitals in Scotland to pick up an award for excellence in food hygiene.

Astley Ainslie, the Western General and the Royal Edinburgh hospitals received the Food Standards Agency Scotland's Eat Safe Award.

Other holders of the prestigious award include Edinburgh's Harvey Nichols and Glasgow's La Bonne Auberge.

The inspections were carried out by Edinburgh Council.

Brian Cavanagh, NHS Lothian chairman, said: "This award should go some way to exploding unfair, inaccurate but enduring myths about hospital food.

"The food served in our facilities is healthy and nutritious and, as this award shows, bears comparison with food served in private sector cafes and restaurants in terms of excellence in standards of food hygiene and preparation.

"Catering staff should be commended for the high quality work they are producing in what can be very busy and fast-moving environments."

High standards

Peter Midgley, head of the Food Standards Agency Scotland's (FSAS) local authority food law enforcement branch, said: "It is great to see a public sector healthcare body come forward and go for the Eat Safe Award.

"To achieve this award, recipients have to show a real commitment to excellence in terms of safe and hygienic food provision and the public should be confident that very high standards are being reached in these three hospitals."

Councillor Sheila Gilmore, Edinburgh Council's community safety and housing leader, said: "We are delighted that inspections by our environmental health staff have helped these NHS Lothian hospitals to achieve the Eat Safe Award."

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