Hos­pi­tal ad­min­is­tra­tion apol­o­gizes over ‘small in­sect’ get­ting into food

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - FRONT PAGE - BY JIM DAY

Hos­pi­tal ad­min­is­tra­tion apol­o­gizes over ‘small in­sect’ get­ting into food

The Queen Elizabeth Hos­pi­tal ad­min­is­tra­tion is “con­cerned and apolo­getic’’ over a vis­i­tor find­ing a worm in her food while eat­ing in the hos­pi­tal cafe­te­ria.

“Un­for­tu­nately, an in­ci­dent did oc­cur ear­lier this week at the hos­pi­tal in which a small in­sect was found on a piece of let­tuce that was part of a sub­ma­rine sand­wich pre­pared by hos­pi­tal food ser­vices staff and sold in the cafe­te­ria,’’ says hos­pi­tal CEO Jamie Mac­Don­ald.

“This is the first time in years that such an in­ci­dent has taken place.’’

Ri­ley Wag­ner posted on Face­book de­tails of her un­set­tling lunch while vis­it­ing her mother and new­born brother at the hos­pi­tal.

“Over half way through eat­ing my sub I look down in the pack­age it was in and I see a worm,’’ she posted.

“I im­me­di­ately stand up and spit out the food in my mouth. I started cry­ing and scream­ing. My poor mother was so con­fused un­til she saw it. She im­me­di­ately walked it over to the cafe­te­ria work­ers to con­front them.’’

Wag­ner added in her post that she was “ex­tremely dis­ap­pointed’’ in how the sit­u­a­tion was han­dled.

Mac­Don­ald says the hos­pi­tal’s di­rec­tor re­spon­si­ble for nutrition ser­vices, along with the man­ager, met with Wag­ner to doc­u­ment, in de­tail, her ex­pe­ri­ence.

She says the man­ager fol­lowed up with the hos­pi­tal’s food ser­vices staff and di­eti­cians to dis­cuss the in­ci­dent and re­mind them of the im­por­tance of be­ing dili­gent in in­spect­ing and wash­ing pro­duce be­fore be­gin­ning meal prepa­ra­tion, es­pe­cially when han­dling large vol­umes of pro­duce, to en­sure noth­ing is missed.

“Like the hos­pi­tal’s ad­min­is­tra­tion, they, too, were con­cerned and apolo­getic that this un­for­tu­nate sit­u­a­tion oc­curred,’’ says Mac­Don­ald.

“The QEH has taken this in­ci­dent very se­ri­ously. We take pride in hold­ing our staff to the high­est stan­dard.’’

Mac­Don­ald notes all food ser­vice staff is re­quired to com­plete a one-day food safety course pre­sented by health in­spec­tors and to en­sure that they are re-cer­ti­fied ev­ery five years.

“The hos­pi­tal’s food prepa­ra­tion, stor­age and ser­vice ar­eas also un­dergo reg­u­lar in­spec­tion and fol­low the ap­pro­pri­ate health and safety stan­dards,’’ she adds.

“We have also taken the time to re­mind our staff of the im­por­tance of good cus­tomer ser­vice prac­tices.’’

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