Watford General Hospital has been slammed after it received a 1/5 food hygiene score for its kitchens that serve patients.

The wards' kitchens were graded following an inspection on November 22, before being officially published last month.

The management of food safety was graded “major improvement necessary”, while hygienic food handling and cleanliness and condition of facilities were “generally satisfactory”.

Herts Advertiser: Watford General HospitalWatford General Hospital (Image: Google Street View)

Sam Reynolds, 36, told the Watford Observer he was “surprised” by the result, adding: “You expect to see that from an everyday restaurant, but not a hospital.”

Mr Reynolds, a project manager from Kings Langley, said he understands that staff and the NHS are under pressure but “this is not a question of funding, it’s food preparation and processes”.

But Kelly Morley, 44, from Watford, said she was unsurprised by the rating.

“It’s about the same level I would give their care,” she said.

Ms Morley, who works for a shopping centre, added: “People are in hospital because they are ill.

“If the ward kitchen can’t provide at least a five on hygiene then I don’t know where we are at.”

However, Stephen Danzig, who was in hospital from February 14 to February 26, said he does not feel the food he received reflected the 1/5 rating.

He said: “I don’t have any concerns, didn’t do me any harm.”  

David Ambrose, acting director of environment at West Hertfordshire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “We are very disappointed with this rating which does not reflect the high standards of care we hold for our patients.

"We have refurbished the ward kitchens which were highlighted in the inspection and addressed many of the report’s concerns.

"We have updated processes to ensure the food handling environment is safe for our patients and are providing enhanced training for all staff who handle food so there are strong food safety management procedures in place. 

“I would like to reassure the public that our patient food is safe and we look forward to the next inspection where we can demonstrate the improvements and the progress we have made.”