Kitchens in all Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals would have to meet new standards under a new bipartisan bill that was introduced after cockroaches were reported in one VA hospital kitchen in Illinois.
Rep. Mike Bost, R-Ill., proposed the legislation after a whistleblower reported last year that the kitchen of a VA hospital in Illinois was infested with cockroaches. The whistleblower said roaches were seen on counters when meals were served.
Bost's bill is the Requiring Accountability and Inspections for Dining Service Act, or the RAID Act. It would require the VA to set up kitchen inspections at each VA facility.
If any kitchen failed inspection, the VA would have to develop a remediation plan within 48 hours, and conduct another inspection within seven days. A second failure would require the VA to close that kitchen, and alternate food services would have to be provided.
"The thought of roaches and other insects crawling across kitchen countertops where our veterans eat their meals is simply unacceptable," Bost said Wednesday. "Our heroes deserve much better than substandard eating conditions that would never be tolerated in a private sector hospital."
Cosponsors of the bill are Reps. Beto O'Rourke, D-Ariz., and Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, and Del. Aumua Amata Radewagen, R-American Samoa. Read a copy of it bill here: