Recent inspections at several Chicago hospital kitchens revealed major issues with pests and food temperature control even as some patient-serving kitchens went years without being inspected.
Officials at the Illinois Health Department thought inspectors at the Chicago Health Department were reviewing the patient kitchens, while the city thought the state was doing the job, according to a report from WBBM-TV, a CBS-owned and -operated station in Chicago.
The Illinois Health Department has since sent out a memo asking local health officials to inspect both public- and patient-facing kitchens, but the station reported that some of the kitchens haven't been inspected in at least three years.
The patient-only kitchen at Northwestern Memorial Hospital hasn't been inspected since 2013 and Rush University Medical Center's patient kitchen was last inspected in 2012 by the Joint Commission, but not city officials, according to the report.
Hospital kitchens that serve the public were inspected by the city last year, but they didn't always fare well. John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital, a Cook County-owned facility, was charged with a critical violation for a broken dishwasher that was not sanitizing plates. Stroger and Resurrection Medical Center, owned by Presence Health, the largest Catholic system in Illinois, both faced food-temperature violations for items such as poultry, eggs and vegetables.
Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center and Mount Sinai Hospital both failed inspections last year, and Northwestern Memorial's public cafeteria failed on two visits, according to the report.
Some of the hospitals responded to the report by saying that they follow food safety procedures and submit to yearly inspections. Resurrection Medical Center acknowledged that it faced two food storage violations in its public kitchen last July. Other facilities have not responded to requests for comment from Modern Healthcare.
Inspections of all 38 hospital kitchens in Chicago are expected to be completed soon, the station reported.
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