Rep. Mike Bost Unveils Bill to Improve Veteran Meal Safety
Washington, D.C. –U.S. Representative Mike Bost (IL-12), a member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, today unveiled bipartisan legislation, the Requiring Accountability and Inspections for Dining Service (RAID) Act, to ensure veterans are served safe meals at Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals.
“The thought of roaches and other insects crawling across kitchen countertops where our veterans eat their meals is simply unacceptable,” said Rep. Bost. “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.”
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. Currently, the VA establishes its own standards for sanitation in their dining service locations. These standards are different from those established by each state with the help of the Department of Health and Human Services for private hospitals.
Representative Bost introduced the RAID Act along with Representative Beto O’Rourke (D-TX), Representative Aumua Amata (R-AS), and Representative Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) to ensure food preparation facilities at VA hospitals are held to the highest possible sanitary standards possible. The legislation instructs the Department of Veterans Affairs to work with the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospital Organizations to guarantee that the food our veterans are served meets quality standards, and that facilities are properly maintained and inspected.