Police investigating ‘organic matter’-contaminated desserts at Flinders Medical Centre

By @chelean on
An emergency sign directs patients and staff to the emergency room at the newly constructed Kaiser Permanente San Diego Medical Center hospital in San Diego, California , U.S., April 17, 2017.
An emergency sign directs patients and staff to the emergency room at the newly constructed Kaiser Permanente San Diego Medical Center hospital in San Diego, California , U.S., April 17, 2017. Reuters/Mike Blake

Desserts for hospital patients at Flinders Medical Centre in South Australia had been laced with “organic matter.” Police are investigating what is believed to be a deliberate contamination of food at one of Adelaide’s biggest hospitals.

According to SA Police, the contaminated food items were discovered in a kitchen before being distributed to patients. Police were notified of the deliberate contamination of a number of desserts stored on a tray in a fridge about 9:15 am on Tuesday.

“We are working in conjunction with the management and staff of the Flinders Medical Centre to investigate this matter,” Acting Assistant Commissioner Joanne Shanahan said. “We are satisfied that no patients have been fed contaminated foodstuffs No threat or claim has been made in connection with this discovery, which was made by a hospital staff member.”

It was not mentioned whether an employee was being suspected of the contamination or if there was a motive. Authorities have since launched a criminal investigation.

“We would like to reassure our patients and their families that no patients consumed the desserts,” Sue O’Neill, CEO of the Southern Adelaide Local Health Network, said. “We have completed a thorough check on all pre-prepared meals and found no contaminated meals.”

Ms O’Neill added that they had cooked all new fresh meals as a precaution and had personally spoken to special diet patients to ensure that they had no concerns with their meals.

“Providing quality and nutritious food to our patients is one of our key roles and it’s concerning there was a deliberate effort was made [sic] to contaminate these desserts. We are working close with SA Police on their investigation and I would like to thank FMC staff for their immediate escalation.”

The contamination was a “solid, organic-looking product” and was “very obvious.” She added that up to 10 desserts had been targeted. Police said the substance could be faeces.

Anyone found to be behind the contamination could face up to seven years in jail, according to the state’s law. Police are asking anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or report online at www.crimestopperssa.com.au.