Fish cakes may be off children's menu

The Compass Group is considering removing fish cakes from the children's menu after a toddler found a 2cm bone embedded in a fish cake at Dunedin Hospital.

Chloe Wilkinson, of Dunedin, said it had been lucky her 19-month-old daughter did not put the bone into her mouth. The bone was embedded in the fish cake.

‘‘It's quite lucky because she normally eats on her own, without supervision.''

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The meal with the fishbone had been given to Miss Wilkinson to eat, but fish cakes are also served to children. The incident happened on Sunday.

The Compass Group told the Otago Daily Times it contacted the Dunedin supplier of the fish cakes, Pasta d'Oro.

"Pasta d'Oro have reiterated the processes they have in place to remove bones,'' Compass chief operating officer Julian Baldey said in a statement.

"The minced salmon and gurnard they buy from Bluewater Products Dunedin is prepared using a machine designed to expel any remaining bones, with the minced fish then checked by hand.''

The mixture was checked again for bones after other ingredients were added.

‘‘As a further precaution, we are also adding a message to our menus to inform people that there is a small risk that fish dishes may contain bones,'' Mr Baldey said.

Compass was in talks with ward staff and dietitians about whether the fish cakes should be removed from the children's menu.

The company had supplied more than 48,000 fish cakes to Compass since July last year.

Asked for a response to the measures taken, Miss Wilkinson said she was satisfied with the Compass Group's response.



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