Chicken and milk left unrefrigerated overnight on a makeshift counter in the temporary kitchen at Port Elizabeth’s Gelvan Park frail care centre are suspected to be the sources of food poisoning that claimed the life of one elderly person and left 58 others ill.
Shockingly, it also emerged yesterday that this was the second such incident at the centre in three years, after a resident died following complications from food poisoning while others were treated in hospital in 2014.
In the latest incident, emergency medical services staff had to work through the night after being alerted by a nurse to what turned out to be a mass outbreak of suspected food poisoning early on Monday, affecting residents and employees.
Deputy mayor Mongameli Bobani and a group of health inspectors visited the centre yesterday, with Bobani saying later he was worried by what they had found.
“We were told that the chicken was cooked on Saturday and that the lady who was cooking on Saturday didn’t put it in the freezer,” he said.
“She just used it on Sunday. The milk was also left out in the open.”
Bobani said the centre did not have a fridge, only a deep freezer.
In 2014, soup left in the kitchen overnight and then served to the residents claimed the life of one resident due to complications from food poisoning. Three others were treated in hospital.
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