Are self-serve buffet restaurants in hospitals a good idea?

Some employees at a U.K. hospital are saying the only buffet in a hospital should be named Jimmy (with an extra ‘t’ right, exactly as shown).

A new self-service buffet is making a pig’s breakfast of infection control at Coventry’s University Hospital, angry staff claim.

The help-yourself spread was unveiled at the hospital’s main restaurant last week and is open to workers, patients and visitors.

Shocked hospital workers say they were only warned about the change days earlier when a sign went up.

They claim the self-service system is a hygiene disaster waiting to happen.

Allowing sick patients to handle the food could quickly spread infections, such as the highly contagious norovirus sickness bug, staff say.

One angry worker told the Coventry Telegraph,

 “I think it is disgusting. Patients have been coming in with catheters and drip tubes in and rummaging through the piles of toast. Who knows what infections they are bringing down from the wards.”

Craig Smith, spokesman for contractor ISS, said the self-service breakfast buffet was launched to offer its customers more choice after consultation with staff and visitors.

“It is not unusual to have a self-service restaurant in a hospital – it is in place in hospitals up and down the country.”