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Last Updated: Thursday, 29 July, 2004, 07:53 GMT 08:53 UK
Cake ban for hospital patients
Cake (freefoto)
The Women's Institute is banned from making cakes for patients
The Women's Institute in Saffron Walden has been banned from making cakes for hospital patients due to health fears.

The ladies of the WI stepped in to help after being asked to provide cakes to two wards for the elderly at Saffron Walden Community Hospital.

But Uttlesford Primary Care Trust has said it could no longer accept the cakes after taking medical advice.

Health officers ruled that because the kitchens where they are cooked were not checked, risks could not be eliminated.

'Hospital bureaucracy'

A Trust spokesperson said: "We have to adhere to strict hygiene criteria and without inspecting the kitchens of WI members who prepare the cakes we cannot eliminate all potential risks.

"The hospital treats very vulnerable elderly patients, many of whom have special dietary requirements. Patient safety is our top priority.

"We are not in any way suggesting the cakes the WI has kindly provided us are unsafe."

Carol LeClercq, secretary of Raadwinter WI - one of 12 Essex institutes who had been supplying cakes - said: "Our first reaction was anger because some of our members had been baking for 50 or 60 years but then it turned to amusement.

"I presume someone had a tick list and couldn't count the Ts crossed or the Is dotted.

"We spoke to another environment health officer who said we were at the extremely low end of the risk scale and it was just the way some people interpreted the rules.

"The hospital is upset because the patients enjoyed the cakes which we think are very nutritious and free of artificial additives.

"It is strange that the relatives of patients can bring in cakes and these are shared but nothing is said about that."

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