Hospital's kitchen hygiene criticism

IPSWICH Hospital has come under fire in a report into the state of England's hospital kitchens and canteens.

IPSWICH Hospital has come under fire in a report into the state of England's hospital kitchens and canteens.

Nationwide, nearly half of all hospital food preparation areas have failed to meet basic standards of cleanliness and hygiene, the report has been claimed.

Ipswich Hospital was one of six nationwide where inspections highlighted five or more areas of concern over the last two years.

In its 2007 inspection, it has been criticised because a door frame to a vegetable chiller was damaged and could not be properly cleaned, and the seal between sink units and wall were in a bad condition - again leading to cleaning problems.

However, there were more problems in its 2006 report - the occasional cockroach was found, used injection ampoules were discovered in a cardboard box in the kitchen, and the freezer area was not clean.

A hospital spokeswoman said: “Once we get hold of the report we will look into it very carefully, as it is not a picture I recognise.

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“We work to the highest standards but we will look at this report very carefully indeed.

“We had a major refurbishment of our kitchens in the recent past and we are looking back at what is not a current situation now. We will issue a statement once we have read into this report properly.”

A Freedom of Information (FOI) request was submitted to a quarter of all English local authorities asking for their health inspection reports into the food preparation areas of hospitals within their jurisdiction.

Liberal Democrat health spokesman Norman Lamb MP said: “It is simply unacceptable that such terrible practices are taking place in an environment where hygiene and safety should be paramount.”

The other hospitals where there were five or more areas of concern were: Farnham Road Hospital in Guildford; Churchill Hospital in Oxford; Blackpool Victoria Hospital in Blackpool; City Hospital in Derby; and Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital in Norwich.

A Department of Health spokesperson said: “Failure to meet hygiene standards is unacceptable and where there are problems, we expect the local authorities responsible for inspecting and enforcing food hygiene regulations to take action.”

N What do you think of hygiene at Ipswich Hospital? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail