WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Mike Bost, a member of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs, introduced HR 5231, the Requiring Accountability and Inspections for Dining Service (RAID) Act, to establish new cleanliness inspection requirements for all VA Medical Center kitchens and dining service areas that mirror those required for private sector hospitals.
“The thought of roaches and other insects crawling across kitchen countertops where our veterans eat their meals is the stuff of horror movies,” Bost said. “It’s unacceptable and a slap in the face to our heroes that they could be subjected to substandard eating conditions that would never be tolerated in a private sector hospital. These stories are certainly not true at VA facilities everywhere, but the fact that it happens anywhere makes clear the need for this legislation.”
The RAID Act takes away the VA’s power to self-police and self-inspect their kitchens and food service areas. It also requires a national accreditation organization to inspect these areas at all VA hospitals and facilities nationwide. The bill also mandates that kitchens and food service areas meet the same cleanliness and inspection standards as private hospitals, which are generally held to the same health standards as restaurants, undergoing up to three inspections per year by local or state health departments.
Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Illinois) introduced similar legislation recently in the U.S. Senate.