By Geoffrey Paul
February 2, 2011
Part of the post-operative recovery programme for patients in hospital has to be the care, attention and, by no means least, diet provided for their recuperation. Having been the unfortunate close-up viewer of the kosher diet provided in a leading London hospital, I can only say, if you can possibly help it, don’t opt for the meals provided by a well-known kosher caterer whose offerings, while well intended, are plainly not designed for the bed-bound patient. Mounds of silver foil and plastic wrap, while they may protect kosher food from contamination from handling by non-Jewish staff, arrive at the bedside table in a jumble requiring forensic skills to detach the food from the wrapping. Soup comes in bowls which have been upset within their outer packaging, with more soup in the containing package than the bowls. Cold cuts of meat are heated to the same temperature as a portion of chicken and are therefore inedible. I could go on but would not want to disturb your digestion. All I want to say is, in this day and age of advanced technology, it cannot be beyond the skills of Jewish scientists and food technologists to come up with a kosher diet which is edible within a hospital context and which does not provide the best reason for opting, instead, for a vegetarian, non-kosher diet. By the way, if you order a kosher meal for a visitor, expect to pay £31.50 for something which will almost certainly be left uneaten, Outrageous.