Mother 'horrified' at mouldy bread served to 3-year-old at soft play centre (From St Albans & Harpenden Review)
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Mother 'horrified' at mouldy bread served to 3-year-old at DJ Jungles in St Albans
A St Albans mother is outraged after she claims her three-year-old daughter was served with mouldy bread at a Sandridge play area.
Mala Mulholland spotted a "large piece of green mould" on her daughter Roma’s sandwich crust during a friend’s nursery party at DJ Jungles in St Albans Road on Saturday, September 28.
Roma had appeared to have eaten most of it but Mrs Mulholland says she got to her just in time to stop her eating the whole sandwich.
Mrs Mulholland of Cottonmill Lane said she was horrified.
She said: "The children were starving because they had enjoyed two hours of play time so she had nearly demolished the plate when I saw the piece of bread in the corner of my eye.
"I was gobsmacked. It is absolutely disgusting that the staff, who made the sandwiches, didn’t notice the mouldy bread."
After noticing the mould, Mrs Mulholland informed staff who immediately apologised and replaced Roma’s sandwich.
After leaving the party, Mrs Mulholland was not satisfied and put in a formal complaint with play area owner Helen Whittington.
Ms Whittington informed the mother the bread is frozen and used within three days of being defrosted.
Mrs Mulholland said: "This is disgusting and I don’t understand why the bread isn’t fresh.
"This could have made Roma ill."
During an email exchange Ms Whittington offered to compensate Mrs Mulholland with an offer of 10 free places for a hot food party in December for Roma’s birthday.
However this was refused by Mrs Mulholland.
She said: "Me and my husband think it would be inappropriate to hold it at somewhere which fed our daughter with mouldy bread.
"Roma would have 30 kids coming to her birthday, so in total we would be paying £240 more for the extra places on top of the 10 free places.
"We don’t want to give this establishment any more business.
"They claim to be rated a five star establishment rated by St Albans District Council but they are feeding children mouldy bread."
Mrs Mulholland added she was outraged at a comment said by Ms Whittington in an email exchange.
The comment from Ms Whittington read: "I have investigated the issue of a three-year-old possibly consuming mouldy bread and the answer was: ‘Your child will likely suffer no consequences from eating the piece of bread. I wouldn't be concerned about it and there isn't anything you need to do.’ "
Mrs Mulholland: "This attitude is shocking.
"They are flying in the face of responsibility as an establishment that caters to kids.
"I think it is important for this to be out in the public."
When contacted by the Review, Ms Whittington said she acknowledged the mistake.
She said: "The incident has been thoroughly investigated. As a result, whilst not required to, we have altered our defrosting policy. This will ensure that a similar incident does not happen again.
"As for payment of damages to Mrs Mulholland we are not liable to pay any. There was no damage as a result of the ingestion of mould. If any the sandwiches were changed out immediately the incident became apparent.
"Obviously we very much regret the mistake but have done everything to ensure this will not happen again. Indeed we have been in contact with environmental health and they are not taking any action as they accept that this was a mistake.
"Further, environmental Health recognise that even if mould had been ingested, it would not result in sickness or injury of any kind.
We have invited Mrs Mulholland to come into our Kitchens to see why we have a 5 star rating and further, we have offered as a gesture of goodwill to Mrs Mulholland, to host a party with a small number of free places.
"However, this is as stated, a gesture of goodwill only and we are not willing to give Mrs Mulholland money as she has requested, when we have no liability to do so."
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