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How much food West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds throws away

An estimated seven tonnes of food was served straight into the bin last year inside West Suffolk Hospital.

NHS data shows the trust which controls the Bury St Edmunds infirmary threw away 138kg during a seven day period last March, equivalent to 7 tonnes a year.

The figure covers meals left on the trolley and it includes lunches and dinners, but not breakfast.

Food waste stock image (6602667)
Food waste stock image (6602667)

The local trust spent £1.7million on food services in the 12 months to March, including labour, delivery and management costs. During this time, 358,589 meals were requested.

This would give an average cost of £12.68 to feed one patient for a day, if no meals were wasted, compared to a UK-wide average of £12.59.

Brodrick Pooley, trust catering manager, said: “As part of our commitment to sustainability, we try to minimise our food waste.

“Every day our team serves three nutritious meals to more than 400 patients. We are proud the majority of food is cooked on-site, and believe high-quality food helps recovery.”

He added: “While we ensure we only produce the number of meals required by our patients there are many reasons why food in a hospital setting could be unserved and become waste.

“For example, a patient may be discharged too close to a meal to stop it being sent.

“Sometimes a patient can be made nil by mouth, where they are no longer allowed to eat, after food has already been prepared.”

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