Food hygiene ratings should be prominently displayed in all hospitals, a report by Welsh assembly members claims.
The cross-party public accounts committee also said that not enough improvement has been made on screening patients’ nutritional needs when they are admitted to hospital.
It said that many wards waste an “unacceptably high” amount of food, with around 15% of meals, worth £1.5m, being thrown away.
The report also expressed concern that a “protected meal times policy”, which was brought in to allow patients to eat without interruptions, had been used at some hospitals to stop relatives assisting vulnerable or infirm patients with meals.
It called on the Welsh government to issue guidance to the NHS clarifying that family members can help out at meal times if they want to.
The committee chairman Darren Millar said: “We recommend that every patient is advised of what standards of catering service they should expect at the point of admission and that food hygiene ratings should be prominently displayed in all hospitals.”
A spokesperson for the Welsh government said: “Several initiatives have been introduced across Wales which have led to significant improvements both to the nutritional quality of food and the patients’ meal-time experience.”