“Frightened’ is the best way to describe my reaction to a news story regarding Florida’s decision to end food preparation inspections at nursing homes and hospitals in the state. In the past, nursing homes and hospitals were inspected on a quarterly basis with respect to safe food handling. Budget cuts are the reason cited by state authorities for the hault in food-safety inspections.
Similar food inspections at day care centers will continue and will be taken over by the Florida Department of Children and Families. Read more about this food safety issue involving Florida nursing homes and hospitals here.
Patients and families should be outraged by this latest budget cutting measure that blatantly ignores the major problems that accompany unsanitary food prepared in an institutional setting. The sad reality is that many sick and elderly will suffer additional harm this year due to food-related illnesses that may likely have been caught by inspectors.
Since 1995, hundreds of nursing home and hospital patients have gotten ill due to unsanitary food. At least 15 outbreaks of significant food-illness have been directly traceable to specific nursing homes and hospitals.