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Food Safety is a Major but Lesser-Known Concern in Nursing Homes

A growing concern for food safety violations in nursing homes and their effect on the residents is pushing advocates to challenge and protest the conditions of these facilities to lawmakers. Food inspections at nursing homes are unlike those at restaurants and often fly under the radar. 

From undercooked food to unsanitary conditions of the kitchen, the public’s increasing concern about the care provided in these facilities is shining a light on how flawed the nursing home regulations are. Nursing homes are supposed to offer the highest level of care for our loved ones. If you suspect that the care provided is severely lacking, contact an experienced nursing home abuse attorney for guidance and in-depth information on your case. 

What Are Common Nursing Home Food Safety Violations? 

FairWarning, a nonprofit news organization that focuses on public health, consumer and environmental issues, researched nursing homes and found alarming conditions. They uncovered numerous accounts of quality and safety issues, including bedsores and unsanitary conditions of kitchens. 

In 2018, FairWarning reports that 33 percent of nursing homes in America were cited due to food storage violations, preparation and service. Some of the concerning violations reported by inspectors are: 

  • Cockroaches behind an oven
  • Mouse droppings on a stove hood
  • Mold in ice machines
  • Debris lodged in a meat slicer
  • Flies hovering around hamburger meat
  • Months-old expired food left in kitchens

Learning about these horrible deficiencies will make most individuals question nursing home care. When residents experience these types of long-term care facilities violations, the quality of life and health of nursing home residents deteriorates drastically. 

Dangerous Outbreaks of Foodborne Illnesses in Nursing Homes 

One of the most significant problems in the long-term care facilities communities is the lack of reports of mistreatment and neglect by nursing homes for fear of punishment. The Nursing Home Abuse Center states that in 2016, researchers found kitchens in nursing homes to have higher rates of food safety violations than schools, restaurants, and jails.

Many nursing home residents face illnesses caused by the unhygienic environment with facilities in horrible conditions and toxic food.  In a Wisconsin nursing home in 2018, 61 residents and staff members contracted Norovirus — an extremely contagious virus that causes diarrhea and vomiting. The cause was the kitchen staff’s failure to control sanitizer levels during dishwashing. While these illnesses are dangerous to all individuals, those over 65 have weaker immune systems and are more likely to suffer serious complications. 

How Can Families Protect Nursing Home Residents?

Your loved one should have proper medical and long-term care at a nursing home. If you’re worried about how one of these communities will treat your family member, try some of these suggestions to protect your loved one from harm: 

  • Have a meal with your loved one: Take some time and evaluate the conditions and taste of the food. If it’s cold, undercooked and tastes unpleasant, these are indicators of poorly kept kitchens.
  • Discuss your concerns with the supervisor: If you’re having serious concerns about the condition, talk with the supervisor about what the problems are.
  • Research more into the facility: Before you move your loved one into the nursing home, do extensive research on the facility 
  • Speak to a nursing home abuse lawyer: If there are no changes made and you’re looking for compensation for the physical and psychological damages that occurred, talk with a professional. 

Discovering that your family member might be experiencing nursing home abuse is frustrating, and you may feel overwhelmed trying to figure out the right legal processes. For you and your loved one to receive fair and just compensation, contact an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer. 

Trust Dalli & Marino with Your Nursing Home Abuse Case

Nursing home abuse and negligence are more common than many would like to believe. With long-term care facilities lacking the proper number of nurses and caretakers, as well as lenient regulations, advocates are working hard to push lawmakers toward refining conditions. 

If your loved one is experiencing these unsanitary conditions or other nursing home abuse, contact Dalli & Marino’s experienced and passionate nursing home abuse attorneys. Our team works hard to offer in-depth guidance on the legal processes and documentation that’s needed. 

Call (888) 465-8790 or fill out our online contact form for a free consultation. 


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