FOOD hygiene investigators discovered food beyond its use by date and incorrect labelling on "high risk" items at a Christchurch care home.

Homefield Grange was ordered to make improvements after "sub-standard" practices had been discovered at the site.

Christchurch Borough Council inspectors visited the care home in Salisbury Road, Winkton and found improvement was necessary in food standards, with a two out of five rating.

A report produced by an environmental health officer, who visited the site on July 31, 2018, said the deputy manager of Homefield Grange was asked to dispose of a series of items due to incorrect storage, incorrect or no labelling, or storage beyond their “use by “date”.

This included a carton of lamb mince and plated three quarters of a quiche, both labelled as "Wed". There was also a carton of turkey breast and two identical 'unknown' meat products, suspected at pork belly, that we labelled as "use by 30/7".

The report says: "It was understood that the chef had left for annual leave on the previous evening. It was considered that because of this that perhaps the chef had not

managed the kitchen as well as usual running up to it."

Sean Whitney, Public Health and Protection Manager, Christchurch and East Dorset Councils, said: “A routine food hygiene inspection highlighted some sub-standard practices relating to the storage of high risk food. This was addressed at the time of the inspection to ensure all food stored on site, following the inspection, was safe to eat.

“The management of the business have accepted our findings and have instigated improvements to ensure this does not happen again.”

Homefield Grange is part of the Maria Mallaband Care Group and is described as a "superior care home development", with "luxurious" accommodation for 64 elderly people.

The home, which opened in 2014, offers a combination of nursing, residential and dementia care.

A spokesman for Maria Mallaband Care Group said: "Senior managers are supporting the staff at Homefield Grange in order to ensure that the necessary improvements have been made and sustained.

"We are confident that we have made the necessary improvements and we look forward to demonstrating this when the EHO (environmental health office) inspector next visits.”