An environmental health inspector’s report has given the Cayman Islands Hospital kitchen the “all clear” after two patients on the maternity ward found insects in their food.
The report indicates that the worm-like insects, found in breakfast porridge on Saturday morning, were “weevil larvae.”
It says the issue was traced to a box of Quaker Creamy Wheat cereal and recommends the disposal of all boxes of that cereal remaining in storage at the hospital.
The report found no issues with the condition of the hospital kitchen or the storage areas and stated that all food handlers at the hospital had received food hygiene training from the Department of Environmental Health.
It states, “It should be noted that it is not uncommon for cereals and grains to be harvested with dormant insect eggs. Sometimes processing does not get rid of all dormant eggs. However, detection of weevil is considered a food contaminant but generally poses no health risk to the food or consumers.
“At times, when certain food products are stored for prolonged periods, the dormant eggs can hatch and their larvae can develop and be present in the food.”
The report also recommends a check of all other cereals, flour and similar products in storage at the hospital.
“Measures should be taken if any other contamination is detected to prevent these products entering the food chain,” it states.
It also recommends that the original supplier of the cereal be asked to check and ascertain the extent of the contamination at its location.
New mother Jhannaye Bodden told the Cayman Compass on Sunday that she was stunned and disgusted to find what she believed to be maggots in her food after being served the breakfast porridge at the hospital on Saturday.
She said she was concerned at being served contaminated food at a hospital.
“My first thought was to warn all the mothers on the ward because we are all breast feeding and the babies are getting the food we are getting,” she said in an interview.
The inspector’s report indicates that one other patient on the same ward found “what appeared to be maggots” in their food. A total of 48 patients had been served porridge that morning, according to the report.
After being notified of the problem, hospital staff recalled the breakfasts and 17 were returned to the kitchen while others were discarded on the wards, the report states.
The DEH report indicates that the inspector was called in as soon as the complaint was made and an investigation began immediately.
It states, “Closer examination of some of the recalled porridge in the kitchen revealed what appeared to be meal ‘weevil larvae.’
“There were no evidence of maggots present in any of the porridges inspected or in any other similar products that were examined.
“The kitchen and storage areas were deemed to be in a satisfactory sanitary condition and as such did not present any risk to the foods being prepared in the facility.”