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How Unsafe Food Handling Can Affect Nursing Home Residents

Nursing homes are responsible for feeding all their residents several meals daily. However, if they don’t handle the food safely, it can result in the residents of the nursing home becoming sick or even dying. While individuals of any age can be threatened with foodborne illness, it’s particularly riskier for those over 65 years old due to chronic diseases, weakened immune systems, and age-related digestive system changes.

If you or a loved one has been hospitalized or died due to a foodborne illness contracted in a nursing home in New York, Dalli & Marino, LLP may be able to help you or your loved one hold the nursing home liable and recover compensation for your losses. 

Potential Injuries Related to Negligent Food Handling Practices

Any individual can get hurt because of negligent food handling, especially our older loved ones. Some potential infections related to improper and unsafe food handling can include:

  • Salmonella
  • Norovirus
  • E. coli
  • Campylobacter
  • Hepatitis A
  • Botulism
  • Listeria
  • Cryptosporidium
  • Cyclospora
  • Shigella

These types of illnesses can cause severe symptoms, such as diarrhea and vomiting, which can result in weakness and dehydration. Nursing home residents who become sick due to a foodborne illness can incur physical pain, medical costs, and emotional suffering. Their families can also struggle emotionally as well as have to deal with out-of-pocket expenses if their loved one dies.

Commonly-Cited New York Nursing Home Food Safety Hazards

Some common nursing home food safety citations include:

  • Mouse droppings in cooking areas
  • Staff members not washing their hands before they handle food
  • Mold in ice machines
  • Flies in undercooked meat
  • Cockroach infestations
  • Debris in meat slicers

Sadly, the fines for violations of food safety are fairly low, therefore nursing homes are frequently cited for the same violations multiple times.

How Nursing Home Staff Can Prevent Unsafe Food Handling

Nursing home staff that are responsible for handling the food that passes through the kitchens and to the residents need to be very careful in how they approach handling any and all food items. This means they need to:

  • Wash their hands before they prepare a meal
  • Check the expiration dates on food
  • Attend to any allergies that residents have

Nursing home employees are also expected to make sure their residents are fed nutritious meals. Nursing homes that violate their residents’ right to fresh and safe food or that don’t practice basic kitchen maintenance can put the health of the residents in their care at risk.

Residents of nursing homes who are subjected to poor food handling can end up with unexpected allergic reactions or food poisoning that can lead to long-term health problems if not attended to immediately.

How to Challenge Nursing Home Neglect Instances

If you’re looking to hold a nursing home in New York liable for a food-related condition a loved one endured, you can file a civil complaint with your local court system. You’ll have to present evidence in this complaint that shows the ways you feel the nursing home facility violated the rights of your loved one to reasonable and thoughtful care.

However, you may run into certain issues with filing a claim. The help of a practiced elder abuse lawyer can help you combat these, but it’s still important to be aware of them. These may include:

1. Issues Proving Abuse Actually Occurred

Elderly individuals often suffer from various preexisting health conditions, and are typically more fragile than younger individuals. So, when a resident of a nursing home is injured unexpectedly, the nursing home will typically claim that the injury was inevitable due to the resident’s physical condition or age rather than neglect or abuse.

2. The Resident is Unable to Testify

Often, in cases of elder abuse, the victim isn’t able to testify about the neglect or abuse. And, despite being mentally sharp and able to articulate what occurred, the nursing home may claim they’re unreliable because of the confusion that often comes with old age.

3. Lack of Evidence

It can be hard to know at all times what occurs in a nursing home even for families who frequently visit their loved ones. These nursing homes are frequently understaffed and experience a high employee turnover rate, so it can be challenging to track down any witnesses when abuse occurs.

If you have a nursing home neglect or abuse case that you want to move forward with, you can either try and negotiate a settlement without having to go to court, or take it to trial. A New York nursing home neglect lawyer can help with this process.

Contact a Skilled New York Nursing Home Neglect Attorney at Dalli & Marino, LLP Today

A New York nursing home neglect lawyer from Dalli & Marino, LLP can help you or your loved one who’s been harmed by foodborne illness because of poor food handling. Our experience and skills can help protect our client’s financial interests and legal rights when their health and safety have been compromised in long-term care institutions not handling food correctly.

Our nursing home neglect lawyers are ready to tackle your case and work hard to get you the compensation you or your loved one may be entitled to. Our lawyers also speak Spanish. Call our law firm at (888) 465-8790 or fill out our online form to schedule your free consultation today.


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