A FOOD hygiene inspection at St Mary's Hospital's food department unveiled serious findings that led to it receiving a one-out-of-five rating.

Some foods were not labelled with use-by dates, foods were put into the fridge uncovered, there was mould growth on the chiller walls and an accumulation of dust and grease in the extractor hood.

The report, released to the County Press today, showed a series of errors, including:

  • One of the controls is to keep raw and cooked foods separate, however it is not clear how this is achieved. Staff were recommend to consider the Food Standards Agency’s guidance on managing the risk of E.coli cross-contamination.
  • There was no consistent means of managing stock rotation. Some foods had not been labelled to indicate when they should be used by. Some foods were being labelled with a dot to indicate the day they had been made, and others to indicate their use-by date. It was unclear what the dot represented. Some items in the dry store had not been stock rotated. For example, Worcestershire sauce had a best before date of July 2018.
  • The inspector was informed foods were thawed in the refrigerator overnight, however fish was being defrosted at room temperature, which can allow for the germination and growth of bacteria on the warm outer surface, though the centre is frozen.
  • Food, including leek and cheese sauce, was stored in the dairy refrigerator uncovered.
  • There was water dripping from the evaporator unit on the ceiling, above the food.
  • A bowl of tuna mayonnaise had a spoon left laying down in the bowl, leaving the hand contact surface of handle in contact with the tuna and risking contamination.
  • There was no means of removing the blade from the meat slicer to enable thorough cleaning.
  • There was mould growth on the walls of the walk-in dairy chiller and an accumulation of dust and grease on the grease filters in the extractor hood.
  • There was a risk of accidentally contaminating food with allergens because stored ingredients such as flour and mustard powder had spilled out on to the trolley containing an assortment of other ingredients such as herbs and spices.
  • The labels on the potato and mushroom tart, and on the chocolate sponge, indicated there were no allergens contained in the meals, however the recipes revealed the sponge contained flour, eggs and milk and the tart contained cheese, egg and milk.

The department was given a Major Improvement Necessary rating.

The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme inspections are operated in partnership with the Food Standards Agency.

The Isle of Wight hospital department was inspected on October 17.

The inspectors found Major Improvement Necessary for the management of food safety — system or checks in place to ensure that food sold or served is safe to eat, evidence that staff know about food safety, and the food safety officer has confidence that standards will be maintained in future.

Improvement Necessary rating was given to hygienic food handling — hygienic handling of food including preparation, cooking, re-heating, cooling and storage.

However, the cleanliness and condition of facilities and building was found to be good, including having appropriate layout, ventilation, hand washing facilities and pest control.

A spokesperson for Isle of Wight NHS Trust said: “The Trust has taken immediate action to address the concerns raised by inspectors.

“A full deep clean has been carried out, faulty equipment is being repaired or replaced, staff training has been stepped up and we are improving record keeping and documentation.

“We fully expect our next inspection to show significant improvement.”