An inspection at Tallaght Hospital Dublin prroduced mixed views on the food served in wards.
One meal comprised 'dry salmon, potatoes and vegetables' and the survey also found that a dessert featured congealed rice pudding.
A report by inspectors from the Health Information and Quality says:
"While some meals appeared to be presented in an appetising manner, it was observed that other meals were overheated and dry".
When they interviewed a small sample of patients, some said their food was "warm and nutritious", but others described it as being "stuck on a plate".
Inspectors said patients were routinely screened for the risk of malnutrition on admission to some of the wards, but they were not always re-screened.