Navy denies sailors are banned from criticising food

A ROYAL Navy base has denied claims that sailors have been banned from posting pictures of canteen food on social media.

Wednesday, 20th April 2016, 6:15 am
Updated Wednesday, 20th April 2016, 8:20 am

HMS Sultan in Gosport has been criticised for the quality of its food in the House of Commons.

MP Tim Loughton claimed personnel at the shore base and other naval sites had been banned from posting comments and photos on Twitter and Facebook because of the large number of complaints over the food.

Comments on Twitter showed the sailors complaining it is ‘terrible’ and ‘brutal’.

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In Parliament, Mr Loughton, the Tory MP for East Worthing and Shoreham, asked defence minister Mark Lancaster what will happen to ensure there are higher standards.

He said: ‘Are you aware that the standard of food for the military at HMS Sultan and other similar naval establishments has become the source of such complaints that service personnel have been banned from taking photographs and using social media to critique it?

‘What are you doing to make sure our servicemen and women are being properly looked after in such a basic area as food?’

Mr Lancaster replied: ‘Defence personnel are offered core meals covering breakfast, lunch and dinner with set calorific and nutritional standards, and this includes unlimited access to carbohydrates and vegetables.’

HMS Sultan has said it had only received a small number of minor complaints so far this year.

A spokesman from the base said: ‘The command team at HMS Sultan regularly eat with the sailors unannounced to check on the standard and quality of food. It is consistently of a high standard with a good range of choices available.

‘The duty officer is required to take his meals with the sailors three times a week, again, to provide assurance of the food quality and personnel are reminded regularly of the comments book and to use it for any food complaints.

‘There have been a handful of minor complaints so far this year, all dealt with by the duty chef.

‘At no point have we banned sailors from posting photos of food on social media sites.’

Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage said she was not aware of any issues.

‘When I visit HMS Sultan, the sailors are quite vocal about any issues they have,’ she said.

‘They have never spoken to me about the food although if anyone has problems, I urge them to get in touch.’