NZ hospital food safety manager rightly sacked

A food safety manager in an Auckland hospital who was fired after unsafe work practices was not unjustifiably dismissed as she claims.

simpsons.lunch.lady.09Former food service manager at North Shore Hospital Padmini Singh was employed by Compass Group from August 2009 until January 2015.

Her employment ended after she was found to have been lacking in a number of areas in food safety and a decision on a demotion for her couldn’t be reached.

Compass Group had already been warned about food safety prior to audits of Singh’s work coming up short.

An outbreak of norovirus at North Shore Hospital in 2012 was found to have most likely originated in the hospital kitchen – though this was never confirmed nor linked to Singh.

During the outbreak there were 59 cases of gastroenteritis with each patient having had the same food.

The Ministry for Primary Industries conducted an investigation and there were indications the culprit may have been a chicken and barley soup served at lunch.

Ultimately, the source of the norovirus was not determined and MPI issued a formal warning to Compass Group that it was at risk of legal action.

Operations manager Raymond Hall said this warning was related to hand hygiene practices, training and food safety documentation.