Compass Group's healthcare brand Medirest has been ordered to pay £200 compensation after a patient took the caterer to court.
Michael Cooper, a retired lorry-driver from Millbrook, described Medirest's meals as a "disgrace" and told thisishampshire.net that he would not have fed them to pigs, after a 14-day stay in Southampton General Hospital.
Instead he chose to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner in the canteen at a cost of £200, which he asked the caterer to reimburse when he was discharged from hospital but the firm refused.
Cooper launched a county court case against Medirest and won a legal judgement ordering the contract caterer to pay him back the money. Medirest bosses said that they did not defend the case because court papers were not received until after the deadline for response.
In a statement, the company said: "We dispute Mr Cooper's claim and had the relevant Medirest personnel been aware of the claim being issued we would have taken the necessary steps to defend this.
"However, on the basis that the judgement has been entered we will abide by the Court's decision in this particular case."
Medirest won the five-year contract worth £17m to supply meals that are pre-prepared in St Albans, Hertfordshire and then steamed in microwaves in ward kitchens according to demand.
By Janie Stamford
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