MOULDY bread, rotten oranges, shredded lettuce sloshed with salad cream – this is some of the food provided for asylum seekers placed in Scottish hotels, it is claimed.

The images are supplied by the No Evictions Network, which is campaigning to support people in asylum accommodation.

Many of these people are now living in Glasgow hotels after Home Office contractor Mears moved them out of the flats they had been living in at the start of the pandemic, claiming this would help prevent the spread of coronavirus and that lockdown had affected the availability of suitable homes.

The National:

However, critics say shared bathroom and eating facilities in the hotels make infection more likely, and the loss of privacy and independence has hit the mental health of many of those affected.

This includes the loss of their £35-per-week support payments from the Government, as their food is now provided for them.

Last week it emerged that around 20 individuals are now refusing to eat that prepared food over claims it is inadequate.

Complaints have emerged that the food - some of which is provided by support groups in snack packs - is poorly cooked, low in nutrients, and not fresh.

New pictures show chicken said to be undercooked, bowls of chips, thin soups and bread with mould.

The National:

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Those taking part in the action, which is not a hunger strike, are those who have a little money and can buy basic fruit, veg and bread.

One man, currently living at the McLays Hotel where Syrian man Adnan Olbeh was found dead last month, says more want to join in, but are unable to do so due to lack of funds.

The man, who speaks English as a second language, said: “We are not asking for five-star service, we are not asking for fruit, we are asking just cook it in a good way so we can eat it.

“We have been here two months, suffering. They took us from where we were living, put us in this place and don’t serve us proper food. I can’t understand all this going on.”

The National:

Mears did not comment on the content of the images at the time this newspaper contacted its representatives. However, the company said: “The food provided is of a good quality, the same standard generally provided to guests at these hotels.

“We regularly check on the food provision and we have also hosted visits by ASH and the Scottish Refugee Council who have reviewed what is being provided.

“Where asylum seekers feel that the quality of the food provided has fallen short of where it should be, we will work with kitchen staff and residents to discuss how it can be improved.

“Last week a small number of residents in one of the hotels raised a complaint about the food options being served.

"Mears and kitchen staff listened to residents about how they could improve some recipes so that their food is more like how it would be cooked in the asylum seekers’ country of origin and Mears were more than happy to agree to this.

"We will continue to work with asylum seekers and kitchen staff to ensure the food provided is at a good standard.”

But today the company came forwards with a new statement to distance itself from the items in some of the images.

On the pictures of mouldy food, it said: “The hotel food is not served in plastic wrapping or in paper bags so these pictures are of food from a different source.

“Food served at the hotel is fresh and of good quality.”