Nursery guilty over salmonella outbreak
PUBLISHED: 17:46 01 April 2009 | UPDATED: 11:30 12 August 2010
A COMPANY which risked children s lives following an outbreak of salmonella poisoning at a nursery is due to be sentenced. Cannock House Day Nursery Limited, in Hawstead Lane, Orpington, was closed by Bromley council in March 2007 after 147 people were
A COMPANY which risked children's lives following an outbreak of salmonella poisoning at a nursery is due to be sentenced.
Cannock House Day Nursery Limited, in Hawstead Lane, Orpington, was closed by Bromley council in March 2007 after 147 people were taken ill, including 139 children.
Bromley magistrates heard last Wednesday about the poor conditions at the nursery, which had 215 youngsters on the books at the time of the outbreak
Chairwoman of the magistrates, Sarah Cahill said: "This was a serious breach and the potential consequences could have been disastrous."
Although it is not known exactly how the outbreak spread, the court heard from the prosecution how salmonella was found on a chopping board and three mixing bowls in the kitchen at the premises.
One suggestion was raw eggs were mixed in bowls which were too large to be put into the dishwasher or sinks and therefore were not washed properly.
Prosecutor Rob Sowersby, working for Bromley council, said the cleanliness of the kitchen was poor and cleaning facilities were too small and the court heard the rest of the nursery was in poor repair with old and dirty carpets.
Mr Sowersby said there were insufficient facilities for washing hands, changing nappies and organising cleaning. He said: "The nursery failed to provide soap and paper towels. There were rooms which did not have hot water at the tap."
He added there was no toilet paper in the toilets and that children were handed some when they had to go.
Staff and youngsters were not supposed to come to the nursery if they had diarrhoea in the last 24 hours, the court heard, but when the outbreak began, this procedure was not followed.
Mr Sowersby said: "Things had been allowed to get into a pretty bad state. This was a continuing dangerous state of affairs."
He added staff at the nursery had made repeated requests for new equipment but a refusal to spend money had allowed things there to slide.
Cannock House Day Nursery Limited was taken to court for breaching its duty of care under the Health and Safety Act 1974. It pleaded guilty to two breaches of the act when the case was heard before Bromley magistrates on February 11.
Since May last year the nursery has been run by Child Base Limited, a company unconnected with the outbreak.
Sentencing will take place at Croydon Crown Court on a date to be confirmed.
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