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Hospital meals are disrupted after dead mouse is found in kitchen

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University Hospital Galway. Photo: PA

University Hospital Galway. Photo: PA

University Hospital Galway. Photo: PA

Patients in University Hospital Galway are having hot meals disrupted following the shutdown of its kitchens after a dead mouse was found.

The closure of the kitchen was ordered after the mouse was found during a routine inspection.

Patients and staff have had to rely on food from kitchens in Merlin Park Hospital since last Thursday.

They have not had any porridge for breakfast while lunches during the week were pre-packed sandwiches and salads.

Patients are being served a hot meal in the evening but none at lunchtime. It must be transported across the city and is served later than normal.

A statement from the Saolta hospital group, which oversees the hospital, confirmed a mouse was found.

A spokeswoman said: "Galway University Hospitals has an ongoing programme of pest control across both its sites - University Hospital Galway and Merlin Park University Hospital - and has a significant level of pest- control measures in place.

"This is an important programme as many of the buildings on both campuses were constructed originally in the 1950s.

"As part of this monitoring programme, the pest control company working on behalf of the hospital identified that bait had been interfered with close to the kitchen facilities at University Hospital Galway on Thursday.

"The hospital immediately sought advice from the HSE's environmental health team.

"A deep clean was carried out and additional inspections took place over the following days with particular attention paid to the entry points to the kitchen.

"On Sunday, as a part of an inspection, a single dead mouse was found. This has been an isolated incident and all inspections since this date have been clear.

"Following advice from the HSE's environmental health team and to minimise the impact on patients and for continuity of service, we moved food production to the other hospital site in Merlin Park last Sunday.

"Patients continue to receive a full selection of hot meals in University Hospital Galway with one change, which is that the main hot meal is served in the evening, rather than at lunchtime.

"On the day of the changeover last Sunday only, the selection of hot meal was limited to two choices rather than the usual four choices.

"We are undertaking the necessary works at the kitchen to restore full catering there as quickly as possible."

Irish Independent