Setting the record straight

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Having read the article, ‘Big clean up for hospital kitchen, in Tuesday 22 March Gazette, I feel like I should set the record straight.

Having worked in the kitchen for 15 years I can say without hesitation that under no circumstances can the chefs’ hygiene practices be brought into question like the report is somehow implying.

All members of the catering staff, from cleaners to chefs, work tirelessly, sometimes under very stressful situations, due to lack of staff, to ensure that only the highest levels of food safety practices are met.

Contrary to what the report says, members of staff already have completed level 3 food hygiene courses before the report was issued, as it was part of our initial training in becoming qualified chefs.

The issues highlighted in the report are all areas of which the kitchen staff have no control over as it is up to the ‘powers above’ to arrange contract cleaners to deep clean out of reach areas.

Nowhere in the report does it mention that for the last few years, running the catering department has achieved an ‘excellent’ for their actual food production in the Pre-Entry Awareness Training (PEAT) visits.

It’s about time hospital staff received recognition for all their hard work and determination in these hard times rather than putting a slur against the names of hard working decent people that I am glad to be part of a team with.

Rebecca Clarkson, head chef, Whitby Hospital