£700-a-week Bowden rest home sees food hygiene score upgraded after being slammed by inspectors

A Trafford rest home that was slammed by food hygiene inspectors is to have its rating upgraded after satisfying officials that they had improved standards.

Trafford Council environmental health officers visited the Cedars Rest Home in February and discovered three separate categories that rang alarm bells.

Based in the leafy suburb of Bowden, the elegant Victorian conversion rest home charges elderly and disabled residents £385 to £700 a week to stay. 

Yet the kitchen of the home was found to contain dirty hand contact equipment, no sanitiser for general cleaning and cooked and raw meats being stored on the same shelf, causing risk of cross- contamination.

Inspectors gave the home, which is operated by Caring UK, a two-star rating – meaning ‘improvement needed’. The score was posted on the Food Standards Agency website for the public to see.

However following a follow-up visit last Thursday, environmental health officers intended to increase their rating from a two to a four, the second highest.

Jonathan Symms, director of the Cedars Rest Home, said that the issues identified in the initial inspection in February were resolved within 24 hours. 

He told MM: “The Cedars Rest Home has established a well-deserved reputation for providing excellent care and accommodation to our clients over the last 28 years, during which time we have successfully delivered over six million care hours, with consistent praise and gratitude from the families and friends of our residents, as well as from social and healthcare professionals.” 

He explained that The Cedars consistently meets all the CQC’s ‘Essential Standards of Quality and Safety’.

“A follow-up inspection on June 12 confirmed that we are meeting all the relevant food hygiene regulations, resulting in an upgrading our rating to the highest possible ‘4 star’ rating that can be awarded at a follow-up inspection, and confirmed that should standards be maintained at this level then the top ‘5 star’ rating that we have achieved every year since the current ratings regime was introduced 4 years ago will be re-instated at the next inspection,” he said.

The home, which has 34 residents, specialises in the care of people suffering from Alzheimer’s and also takes in younger adults with physical disabilities and mental health conditions.

Other failings noted on the last graded inspection were raw meat being washed and no ‘use by’ dates on food, with faulty fridge temperature monitoring also flagged up as cause for concern.

Foodborne illnesses, many of which are caused by cross-contamination, can lead to permanent disability or even death.

The Food Standards Agency, who administer the ratings, estimates there are around a million cases in the UK each year, resulting in 20,000 hospital admissions and contributing to around 500 deaths.

The cost of dealing with those affected in England and Wales was £1.6billion in 2011.

In England, there is no obligation for businesses to display food hygiene ratings, unlike in Wales, where it became law to do so last year.

The home was rated top out of 15 care homes in Altrincham by reviewers on with residents and their families rating food, drink and cleanliness as ‘good’ or ‘excellent’.

The private company, Caring UK, who owns the home along with another, Pen-Y-Garth in Wrexham, North Wales, which has a five star ‘very good’ rating claims on its website to provide ‘outstanding residential care’ and the reviews on echo this with Alison D, relative of a resident saying: “Words cannot express how grateful and lucky I feel to have found your care home and the carers who work there.

“Mum was so well looked after and I feel that the care you gave comes from having big hearts and kindness in abundance.”

Another relative, Audrey Lowe, daughter of one of the residents, wrote on the site: “The staff at The Cedars let us visit several times and encouraged us to ask as many questions as we liked.

“Having shortlisted 3 homes, in the end the decision was easy and our father has been genuinely happy at The Cedars for over 12 months now.”

Trafford Council confirmed to MM on Friday that it had revisited the property and an updated score would be posted on the FSA in the next month.

A spokesman said: “An officer visited on Thursday and will be re-scoring the home as a four.

“This score will not go live for a month.”

The next routine inspection is scheduled to take place at a time and date to be confirmed.

Image courtesy of Google Streetview, with thanks.

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