Bill addresses meal safety for veterans
Bipartisan legislation has been unveiled which is designed to ensure that veterans are served safe meals at Department of Veterans Affairs, VA, hospitals.
U.S. Rep. Mike Bost, R-Ill., on Jan. 24 shared details about the measure, the Requiring Accountability and Inspections for Dining Service, RAID, Act.
“The thought of roaches and other insects crawling across kitchen countertops where our veterans eat their meals is simply unacceptable,” Bost said in a news release.
“Our heroes deserve much better than substandard eating conditions that would never be tolerated in a private sector hospital.
“These stories are certainly not the case at all VA facilities, but the fact that it happens anywhere makes clear the need for this legislation.”
Bost said that last year, a whistleblower complaint uncovered significant sanitary and vermin infestation issues in the kitchen of a VA hospital in Northern Illinois.
According to the whistleblower and complaints by veterans, pests, including roaches, were present on counters when meals were prepared and served.
Bost said that currently, the VA establishes its own standards for sanitation in their dining service locations.
The standards are different from those established by each state with the help of the Department of Health and Human Services for private hospitals.
Bost introduced the RAID Act along with Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-Texas, Rep. Aumua Amata, R-American Samoa, and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, to ensure food preparation facilities at VA hospitals are held to the highest possible sanitary standards.
The legislation instructs the Department of Veterans Affairs to work with the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospital Organizations to guarantee that the food which veterans are served meets quality standards, and that facilities are properly maintained and inspected.