Disappointment over Carlisle hospice shop jam ban

Allotment owners are disappointed after finding out their vegetables and homemade jam can no longer be sold in a Cumbria hospice shop.

The gardeners had been donating their produce to the Eden Valley Hospice shop, in Carlisle, for years.

They said they thought it was "health and safety gone ballistic".

The hospice said it had to provide guidelines for its staff and while there had not been any problems said it was better to be safe than sorry.

Allotment holder Hilda Davidson said she had been donating her produce for many years.

She said: "I am really disappointed that we can't do it anymore.

"We have done it all these years and no-one seems to have complained."

Trace products

Another allotment owner Frank Dolan said: "Why all of a sudden after these years have they come up with this idea?

"To me it's health and safety gone ballistic."

The shop within the hospice will sell jam if its ingredients are fully labelled and traceable and donated vegetables will be used in the hospice kitchen but they will not be kept in the shop where there is no chiller cabinet.

Doug McGarr, from Eden Valley Hospice said they needed to be able to trace products back to the point of origin.

He said: "There hasn't been a problem but what we have to do is look at food hygiene regulations and all the guidelines that are out there.

"We have to produce some guidelines for our people so that they know what they have to do."

He said that it could be argued that they were going over the top, but that it was better to be safe than sorry.