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The outlet in Houston’s Ben Taub Hospital suffered flooding as a result of Hurricane Harvey. Since the flooding, PCRM – a nonprofit of 12,000 doctors led by Dr. Neal Barnard – contacted the hospital multiple times, to be told the McDonald’s restaurant is closed – although the cafeteria has recently reopened.
Documentation obtained via the Texas Public Information Act shows the hospital’s initial 10-year contract with McDonald’s ended in September 2012. The parties had the option for two five-year extensions. The first expired in September 2017. PCRM believes the hospital declined the last five-year lease extension.
Removed from the list
As a result, the organization has removed Ben Taub Hospital from its official list of hospitals that host fast food. Susan Levin, M.S., R.D., of the Physicians Committee, said: “In place of artery-clogging burgers and shakes, the hospital can now expand its offerings of healthful, affordable, plant-based meals. Ben Taub Hospital can become a leader in bringing down Houston’s high rates of diet-related diseases.”
PCRM adds: “Several hospitals have recently changed their food environments, including Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, Norton Children’s Hospital in Louisville, Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego, and Abbot Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, all of which have closed McDonald’s restaurants.
“Currently, about 11 U.S. hospitals host McDonald’s, including John Peter Smith Hospital and Medical Center, Navicent Health, both of which have contracts that end in 2019.”