STAFF in the Kitchen at Lynhales Hall Nursing Home are celebrating after receiving a five star rating from Herefordshire Council's environmental health department for their food hygiene standards.

And that's not the only reason for the happy faces, as the team are enjoying life in their newly refurbished kitchen.

When staff found themselves working in puddles of water, with conditions worsening by the day, it took a team of investigators several weeks to uncover the source of the problem. A serious water leak underground had gone undetected until the water eventually found its way into the kitchen and storage areas. A full scale repair of the problem and putting right all the damage done by the water took over three months to complete. The kitchen was moved to a temporary home - staff had to work out of a mobile kitchen in the car park – no mean feat when you are preparing three full meals, drinks and snacks for 73 residents every day!

The Lynhales' kitchen has consistently achieved the highest rating of five since the standards were first introduced and are particularly pleased to have maintained their score this year. Bev Eagles, one of the chefs at Lynhales, said, "We couldn't be happier to have held onto our score. We've had quite a tough few months working in very difficult conditions and it feels like we've had a pat on the back for all our hard work."

Meg Fallon, Manager at Lynhales said, "I'm very proud of how the staff coped under difficult circumstances. They managed to stay positive, deliver all our meals on time and to their usual standard, with no compromise to the menu. I really don't know how they did it!"