According to CDC, 230 foodborne illness outbreaks were reported from 1998 to 2017 in post-acute care settings in the United States. The outbreaks resulted in 54 deaths and 532 hospitalizations, and sickened 7,648 people. Most healthy people will recover from a foodborne illness within a short period of time, however, some can develop chronic, severe, or even life-threatening health problems. In addition, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems (such as transplant patients and individuals with HIV/AIDS, cancer, or diabetes are at a higher risk for developing foodborne illness.
According to CMS, the third most frequently cited violation in our post acute care communities was unsafe food handling (F-tag 813).
To reduce the risk of a foodborne illness, we must identify the risk factors and challenges in our kitchens and develop plans to protect our elders. We need to ensure our staff is well trained and systems are implemented to reduce those risks.