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Food inspectors called to probe a hotel quarantine salad

A tree frog in a salad and ‘grossly insufficient’ cleaning are among concerns raised under Victoria’s troubled hotel quarantine program.The tree frog incident, detailed in a social media post, was among a string of incidents brought to the attention of Department of Health and Human Services deputy secretary Melissa Skilbeck.The matter was referred to City…

A tree frog in a salad and ‘grossly insufficient’ cleaning are among concerns raised under Victoria’s troubled hotel quarantine program.

The tree frog incident, detailed in a social media post, was among a string of incidents brought to the attention of Department of Health and Human Services deputy secretary Melissa Skilbeck.

The matter was referred to City of Melbourne food safety officers to investigate, according to Ms Skilbeck’s statement to the hotel inquiry.

Another returned traveller quarantining complained to have been bitten by a bed bug, but it was unclear whether she herself brought it in her luggage.

Documents to the inquiry also reveal a cleaning company was decontracted because of poor cleaning at the Stamford Plaza hotel.

The inadequate job ended up having to be completed by nurses, according to the health department’s daily notes of an outbreak management team meeting on June 18, tendered to the inquiry.

“Cleaning not done as expected – poor PPE practices – rectified by outbreak nurses,” the notes said.

“Cleaning was grossly insufficient. IPC nurses had to complete cleaning for elevators and bathrooms.

“The company has been decontracted.

“New cleaners organised today.”

Other meeting notes referred to the “understanding of clean vs dirty is very very poor”.

“There is a general lack of understanding of the process and the products that are suitable for completion of a deep clean.”

Coronavirus outbreaks at Melbourne’s Rydges on Swanston and Stamford Plaza Hotel, where returned travellers were being quarantined, led to 99 per cent of Victoria’s second wave of COVID-19 cases.

The inquiry is due to resume on Tuesday with testimony from Emergency Management Victoria Commission Andrew Crisp.

Other witnesses to be examined include Forest Fire Management Victoria’s Chris Eagle and former Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley.

Other witnesses include Victoria’s chief health officer Brett Sutton on Wednesday, followed by Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Shane Patton and former Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton on Thursday.

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