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Hospital food still needs first aid, says report – For more hospitality stories, see what the weekend papers say

07 February 2011 by
Hospital food still needs first aid, says report – For more hospitality stories, see what the weekend papers say

Hospital food still needs first aid, says report
The latest report slating the quality of hospital food found that more than two-thirds of people surveyed took their own food into the wards, more than half would not be happy serving hospital food to a child, and in excess of 33% thought hospital meals were "unacceptable". The survey, First Aid for Hospital Food, commissioned by the Soil Association, noted that every survey since 1963 found hospital meals were unhealthy and barely edible. The Soil Association, which commissioned the survey, added that local sourcing could save hospitals millions of pounds each year, citing the £6m saving achieved by Nottingham City hospital in 2010. However, the percentage of NHS food sourced from UK producers dropped to 64.5% last year, from 70% in 2009. A Department of Health report suggests 50,000 patients could be suffering from malnutrition or conditions complicated by malnutrition. - 6 February
Read the full article in theIndependent on Sunday >>

Financial advisers drafted in to debate Punch future
The future of debt-ridden pubs group Punch Taverns will be hotly debated this week when chief executive Ian Dyson concludes a business review. The UK arm of bond insurer Ambac has hired debt restructuring expert FTI Consulting to negotiate on its behalf, Rothschild is acting for bondholders and Punch - which has debts in excess of £3b - has hired Goldman Sachs and Blackston to advise on a restructure. Punch has 6,770 pubs and is worth an estimated £430m. -6 February
Read the full article in theIndependent on Sunday >>

Jamie Oliver signs deal with Homebase - but show banned from LA schools Jamie Oliver has been signed up by Homebase to promote a range of seeds, compost and pot plants as the retailer's public face for gardening. "Jamie and Homebase are working together to encourage the British public to eat well and understand where their food comes from," said a spokesman for Homebase. Oliver's tie-up with Sainsbury's is estimated to have added an extra £1b in sales in the first three years. Meanwhile, the celebrity chef's US series, Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution, has been banned from Los Angeles' 700 schools after the chef failed to submit a proposal about his plans to officials. The Los Angeles Times suggested officials feared the show would not reflect recent improvements to its school menus, which included banning junk food and soft drinks and offering more fruit and vegetables. -5 and 6 February
Read the full articles in theDaily Telegraphand theSunday Times >>

Britannia boss to reinvent Pontins as Disney-style resorts
Britannia Hotels, the new owner of Pontins holiday camps, plans to revive their fortunes by transforming them into themed seaside destinations for children. Alex Langsam is planning a £25m makeover of the five camps, which Britannia acquired for a reported £20m after they fell into administration, owing Spanish bank Santander £40m. He intends to add Disney-style cartoon costumes and attractions alongside the bluecoat entertainers. Langsam accused the previous owners of "arrogance" and of starving the business of investment. This was rebutted by former managing director Graham Parr, who blamed the level of loans it had to repay. - 6 February
Read the full article in theObserver >>

Government mulls plans to replace May Day holiday with October break The Government is considering plans to scrap the May Day bank holiday and replace it with a new one in October following calls from the tourism industry for a better spread of holidays across the year. Unions saw the proposal as an attack on the celebration of international workers' day on 1 May which was introduced by Labour in 1978 and Brendan Barber, general secretary of the TUC, called for an extra day off instead. "There is strong support for an extra public holiday as the UK has the stingiest allocation in Europe. But the last thing we need is for the Government to mess around with established bank holidays that workers and businesses have built their schedules around," he said. - 6 February
Read the full article inScotland on Sunday >>

Blaze breaks out at five-star Brecon Beacons guest house Guest were evacuated at a five-star country guest house in Brecon Beacons after a fire broke out around 9pm on Saturday. More than 30 fire fighters were called to the blaze at Glangrwyney Court in Crickhowell, South Wales, a Grade II-listed hotel dating back to 1800 which has holiday cottages in the grounds. - 6 February
Read the full article in theIndependent on Sunday >>

Scottish sous chef cheats death three times
A sous chef from the famous Anglers Inn in Guildtown, Perthshire, cheated death three times within hours when the town was hit by snow, thunder and lightning. Wes Watts, 32, was first hit by a lightning bolt in the kitchen which also fused appliances, melted a broadband router and damaged a water bath. "It was just a massive blue flash and an incredibly loud bang and then I could see the back of my eyeballs," said Watts, "It lifted me off my feet and threw me about three feet away from where I was standing." As he was driven home to recover by his boss Gawaine Maxwell and another staff member, the car was hit by a falling branch - and as they went to move it, a second huge branch crashed on to the road where Watts had been standing seconds earlier. "After the lightning strike and the car incident, I wouldn't have been surprised if Wes had gone home and locked himself in a cupboard," commented his boss. - 5 February
Read the full article in theScotsman >>

Russia resumes caviar exports to Europe after nine-year ban Russia has lifted a nine-year ban on the export of sturgeon caviar to Europe, with the first shipments due next week at more than £4,000 per kg. Although annual exports are initially limited to 150kg, Russia is hoping to raise this to 15 tons a year through a number of fish farms in the south using new techniques to harvest the roe that do not kill the fish. Sturgeon, which date back to the age of dinosaurs, can live to be 100 years old and do not begin breeding until they are 20. They are on the verge of extinction in the Caspian Sea where poaching remains widespread. Russia is currently drafting a new law to put caviar poaching on a par with drug trafficking. - 5 February
Read the full article in theIndependent >>

Coffee shop owner faces jail over indecent ‘bikini barista'
The owner of the Dreamgirls Expresso coffee shop in Yakima, Washington, faces up to 90 days in jail because one of her "bikini baristas" violated local indecent exposure rules. Cheryl Clark, who will be sentenced on 18 February, was found guilty after police reported that a waitress's sheer shorts did not cover enough of her buttocks. Barista bikini coffee shops have been springing up across Washington as small independents struggle to compete with the major chains. - 6 February
Read the full article in theMail on Sunday >>

<span class="Á"noindexÁ"">By Angela Frewin

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