The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs could soon be required to undergo consistent regulatory health inspections of its hospital kitchens and report the findings to Congress, according to a Senate bill introduced today.

The RAID Act – Requiring Accountability and Inspections for Dining Service – would subject the VA to the same health standards as private hospital kitchens, which includes shutting down the facility until problems are corrected. The bill was introduced by Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., after a Conservative Review investigation revealed allegations of a cockroach infestation so massive that bugs were reportedly being served in food at a Chicago area VA hospital.

“The senate is living up to its responsibility by telling the VA that veterans’ facilities are not cockroach colonies,” Kirk said. ”We wouldn’t have a country without our veterans and their hospitals should be the gold standard. Instead, we have everyone pointing fingers in different directions as to who is responsible.”

Kirk’s office has been trying for weeks to determine which health agencies – if any – regularly inspect VA hospital kitchens and what punishments are imposed. He said he was unable to determine any.

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