Preventing food poisoning in care homes

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Not following the correct food safety procedures in your care home can not only lead to vulnerable residents suffering from food poisoning, it can also lead to a fine of thousands of pounds for not complying with the Food Safety and Hygiene (England) regulations.

Here are just some of the nasty bugs that can cause food poisoning:

Escherichia coli (E. coli)

E. coli poisoning results from eating contaminated food, such as raw leafy vegetables or meat that hasn’t been cooked properly.

As such, to minimise the risk of infection you should always thoroughly wash any salad or vegetables that will be eaten raw.

The symptoms of E. coli can include stomach cramps, severe watery diarrhoea, fatigue and sometimes fever. However, some strains of E. coli may also cause severe anaemia or kidney failure, which can lead to death.
[/cs_text][/cs_column][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/3″ style=”padding: 0px;”][x_image type=”rounded” src=”https://cairncare.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/E.-coli-small.jpg” alt=”” link=”false” href=”#” title=”” target=”” info=”none” info_place=”top” info_trigger=”hover” info_content=””][/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section][cs_section parallax=”false” style=”margin: 0px;padding: 0px 0px 20px;”][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”2/3″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text]• Campylobacter

Campylobacter is the most common cause of food poisoning in the UK. In fact, according to the Food Standards Agency, Campylobacter is responsible for causing 280,000 cases of food poisoning and 100 deaths every year in the UK.

About 80% of these cases of Campylobacter poisoning come from contaminated poultry, where this has not been cooked properly or where the bacteria on uncooked chicken is transferred to other foods that are ready to eat. In addition to poultry, Campylobacter is also found in red meat, unpasteurised milk and untreated water.

Symptoms of Campylobacter food poisoning include nausea and vomiting, diarrhoea that can be bloody, stomach pain and fever.
[/cs_text][/cs_column][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/3″ style=”padding: 0px;”][x_image type=”rounded” src=”https://cairncare.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Campylobacter-small.jpg” alt=”” link=”false” href=”#” title=”” target=”” info=”none” info_place=”top” info_trigger=”hover” info_content=””][/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section][cs_section parallax=”false” style=”margin: 0px;padding: 0px 0px 20px;”][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”2/3″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text]• Salmonella

According to the Food Standards Agency, Salmonella is the pathogen that causes the most hospital admissions in the UK, at around 2,500 each year.

Living in the gut of many farm animals, Salmonella bacteria can be present in meat, eggs, poultry and milk. In addition, other foods can become contaminated if they come into contact with manure in soil or with sewage in the water.

Cooked foods can also become contaminated with Salmonella on raw food if they are stored together or prepared on the same chopping board.

Residents suffering Salmonella poisoning are likely to experience vomiting, fever, diarrhoea and stomach cramps and hospitalisation may be needed where the illness leads to severe dehydration.
[/cs_text][/cs_column][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/3″ style=”padding: 0px;”][x_image type=”rounded” src=”https://cairncare.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Salmonella-small.jpg” alt=”” link=”false” href=”#” title=”” target=”” info=”none” info_place=”top” info_trigger=”hover” info_content=””][/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section][cs_section parallax=”false” style=”margin: 0px;padding: 0px 0px 20px;”][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”2/3″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text]• Listeriosis

Listeriosis is caused by bacteria called listeria. Most cases of listeriosis are caused by eating food contaminated with this bacteria, typically unpasteurised milk, dairy products made from unpasteurised milk and processed meats such as pâtés and hotdogs.

However, listeria can also be transferred to vegetables if washed in contaminated water and meat and dairy products can become contaminated if they’re taken from infected animals.
Symptoms of listeriosis are similar to influenza or gastroenteritis and can include vomiting, muscle ache, chills and diarrhoea.

What’s more, as listeria can survive in temperatures below 5C (41F), storing food in the fridge will not get rid of the bacteria.
[/cs_text][/cs_column][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/3″ style=”padding: 0px;”][x_image type=”rounded” src=”https://cairncare.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Listeria-small.jpg” alt=”” link=”false” href=”#” title=”” target=”” info=”none” info_place=”top” info_trigger=”hover” info_content=””][/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section][cs_section parallax=”false” style=”margin: 0px;padding: 0px;”][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”2/3″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text]Combatting the risk of food poisoning

As care homes and nursing homes provide catering services they are classed as a food business and must comply with all relevant food legislation applicable in the UK.

Whilst there are many aspects to meeting the correct food safety standards in residential homes, one of the key measures you can take to control the risk of food poisoning is to properly disinfect any food areas.

One disinfectant that is DEFRA-approved for use in food environments is the antimicrobial cleaner, Virusolve+. Virusolve+ has been thoroughly tested by independent laboratories and shown to destroy E. coli, Campylobacter, Salmonella and Listeriosis within only 1 minute of application.

With no need to clean surfaces prior to disinfecting, Virusolve+ saves time and money, whilst also leaving a residual barrier of up to seven days to help keep bacteria at bay.

You can also help reduce the risk of a food poisoning outbreak around your care home by asking staff, residents and guests to follow proper hand washing procedures. To help them do this effectively, you can put hand sanitisers, such as Virusan, next to kitchen and bathroom sinks, as Virusan has been shown to annihilate 99.99% of all germs within 60 seconds.

Just click here to visit our store and browse our infection control products. You can also visit our training section for instructions on how to use our various Virusolve+ products.
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