The professional hospital caterer moves with the times and the Association is here to ensure that the most up to date information is available. The Hospital Caterer, the official journal of the Hospital Caterers Association is published six times each year. To download or view the latest edition online click one of the button to the right.

A range of other relevant publications are available below. Click on the section to download a PDF version.

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Better Hospital Food Plan (2000)

To access the Better Hospital Food information you have to be a Full member of the HCA (Click here to see membership options)

The Better Hospital Food programme is no longer used in the NHS as it was replaced by each of the 4 nations own Food and Drink strategies however some elements are used still within some hospitals.

The Better Hospital Food programme was introduced to ensure the consistent delivery of high quality food and food services to patients.

It contained various information best practice guidance, resources and background information to support the delivery of food in NHS healthcare facilities.


The National Dish Selector contains over 300 recipes developed by a team of leading chefs for use in healthcare facilities.

Sections on Better Hospital Food initiatives comprise:

  • Flexi Menu pilot, providing patients with a greater choice of meals;
  • Protected Mealtimes, guaranteeing patients un-disturbed meals;
  • 24-hour Catering, providing food any time of the day or night;
  • Sustainability, reducing environmental impact of food production;
  • Nutrition, a key issues for caterers and dieticians.

The Better Hospital Food section of the website contains:

  • National Recipe Data Base
  • Flexi Menu
  • Protected Meal Time
  • 24 hours’ service
  • Sustainability
  • Nutrition
  • Resources
  • Archive

NOTE – Some of the links and information within the Better Hospital Food area have been superseded, replaced or are no longer applicable, as such the HCA does not take any responsibility for the links or information contained in the Better Hospital Food area.


Compliance with hospital food standards in the NHS

Two years on: a review of progress since the Hospital Food Standards Panel report in 2014


Food Standards & Strategy Inaugural Meeting Notes

17th and 30th July 2018
Broadmoor Hospital, Learning & Development Centre, Crowthorne, Berkshire


Investigation into an outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections associated with hospital-provided pre-prepared sandwiches, UK May to July 2019

On 7 May 2019, local investigations were intensified in North West England after two patients contracted listeriosis in the same hospital and subsequently died.


The Hospital Food Standards Panel’s report on standards for food and drink in NHS hospitals

An independent group established by the Department of Health and led by Dianne Jeffrey, chairman of Age UK 

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