Food Safety

An 85-year-old woman died following a norovirus outbreak in a nursing home.  The woman’s death comes shortly after the deaths of 10 other nursing home residents related to gastroenteritis outbreaks.

Food SafetyThe norovirus outbreak in an Australian nursing homes demonstrates the susceptibility of the elderly to food born illness. There is no cure for people afflicted with norovirus.  Rather, the symptoms need to be managed by increasing fluids, increasing electrolytes, monitoring for dehydration and careful observation to prevent overall weakness.

Norovirus outbreaks are common in amongst people in closed or crowded quarters such as nursing homes or hospitals as the virus is very contagious.  Diarrhea, abdominal pain, and vomiting are the most common symptoms associated with norovirus.  Most symptoms develop 24 to 48 hours after exposure to the contaminated food.

Norovirus and other food related illnesses are preventable.  Simple steps can eliminate the risk  to nursing home residents contracting a food related illness or food poisoning:

  • Use correct handling of food
  • Strict hand washing after bathroom use
  • Give kitchen workers paid sick leave
  • Liberal use of  disinfectants
  • Discard food that has been left unrefrigerated for long periods of time
  • Discard food that is past its expiration date
  • Keep residents infected with disease separate from the general population

Learn more about Norovirus here.

Below are other types of food related illnesses that have occurred in nursing homes throughout the country:

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Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial. Lisa
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After I read Jonathan’s Nursing Home Blog, I decided to hire him to look into my wife’s treatment at a local nursing home. Jonathan did a great job explaining the process and the laws that apply to nursing homes. I immediately felt at ease and was glad to have him on my side. Though the lawsuit process was at times frustrating, Jonathan reassured me, particularly at my deposition. I really felt like Jonathan cared about my wife’s best interests, and I think that came across to the lawyers for the nursing home. Eric