Public Heath found seven “critical” food-safety deficiencies at the Ottawa General Hospital this year, three of them in the last week.

On both Monday and Wednesday this week, inspectors found the hospital failed to “separate raw foods from ready-to-eat foods during storage and handling.”

The hospital also earned a critical deficiency for not having paper towels in a dispenser at a hand basin in the food-preparation area on Monday this week and on Aug. 19 of this year. On April 15, the citation was for having no soap in the dispenser at the washing station.

Frances Furmankiewicz, director of nutrition for the hospital,  said the latest problems were due to “employee error.” Though all the employees are trained and certified to handle food, they were given more training as a result of the inspections.

“We have actually rectified all of those incidents now,” she said.

Brenda MacLean, a program manager with Public Health, said all critical deficiencies have the potential to make food unsafe.

“That’s the whole point of inspections ‘ making sure that all the measures are in place to make sure that nobody does get sick,” she said.

Public Health will re-inspect the hospital today, she added.

A number of people at the hospital Thursday said they were concerned when they learned about the poor inspection results and said they would no longer eat there, including Cindy Gilman, who was at the hospital to pick up her daughter.

“I thought the hospital would have been great at following regulations ‘ it’s a hospital,” she said.

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