Anger over Welwyn Garden City hospice homemade cake ban

PUBLISHED: 11:24 22 August 2013 | UPDATED: 16:22 22 August 2013

Maggie & John Molyneux

Maggie & John Molyneux

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ANGER is rising over a Welwyn Garden City charity’s ban on home-made cakes – because of food safety rules.

Maggie & John MolyneuxMaggie & John Molyneux

As first revealed in the Welwyn Hatfield Times, John Molyneux, of Harmer Green, Digswell, was horrified when a letter from Isabel Hospice arrived telling his wife, Maggie, she could no longer bake cakes for the terminally-ill patients and their families.

The letter stated that from now on the cakes would be baked in a “controlled environment” by kitchen staff.

The 66-year-old told the Welwyn Hatfield Times: “They are doing away with a 23 year tradition of cakes being made by the local community for the hospice.

“When I called them about the letter, they told me they had never had a complaint.

“It’s 23 years’ of unblemished cake making.”

Mr Molyneux added that although his wife did not want to make a fuss, he was ‘incensed’ by the new rule.

“I am horrified, I am incensed by this and I think this is wrong,” he said.

“Are they going to ban cakes being sold at church fetes too?

“When is this madness going to end?”

The new rules have been brought in by Helen Dodd, director of the charity, to eliminate health risks to patients who use the hospice.

Although volunteers are no longer allowed to provide cakes for the hospice, they can still bake them to be sold at cake sales and fundraising events.

Mrs Dodd said: “For many years we have been grateful to our volunteers who have baked cakes for the patients at our in-patient unit in Welwyn Garden City.

“It is with great reluctance we have taken the decision to discontinue this practice, and in future to provide cakes baked on our own premises by our caterers.

“The reasons behind this decision are complex, but essentially we need to control the environment in which food is produced and to know the provenance of all ingredients used, as well as working within certain guidelines.

“Whilst this may seem extreme, it must be remembered we are caring for people who may have a suppressed immune system or other complications caused by their illness or treatment and it is, therefore, essential we do everything in our power to ensure their wellbeing.

“We have written to all our cake baking volunteers to thank them for their support and to explain the reasons for this decision. We very much hope they will continue to support Isabel Hospice by baking for events such as our Open Gardens.”

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