This case study is adapted from a real situation. All names are aliases, and any identifiers are removed for privacy.
Zoe is a community care assistant who has been asked to help at a lunch session in the day care area of the long-term care facility. During this lunch session, one of the families brought in food to celebrate their loved one’s birthday. Clients were able to choose what they wanted to eat. The choices they had were lunchmeat, egg salad and tuna salad sandwiches, baked beans, potato salad, lettuce salad, deviled eggs, fruit, cake and jello for dessert. Zoe was told to help herself to lunch after all of the patrons had eaten. In the next three hours, she began feeling unwell. She called the nurse line to report her symptoms: she is feeling clammy and weak, and she has abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting (emesis), and diarrhea. The nurse suggested that Zoe report her symptoms to her employer and the day program supervisor. When Zoe reported her symptoms, she was told there would be an investigation because there were many other people who were also unwell with the same symptoms. Public Health was contacted, and they opened an investigation into the cause and potential bacteria that may be responsible. An investigator was assigned. Zoe found her symptoms were resolved within 5 days.
- What information should Zoe record for the Public Health Investigator? To ensure that Zoe makes note of the most helpful information, she needs to make a list of questions that she expects the investigator to ask. Please make this list now.
- What illness do you think Zoe has? Review the illnesses listed as common causes of food borne illness. What symptoms are similar to Zoe’s symptoms? Remember, the actual answer will be revealed later in the chapter, so you can check your hypothesis.
- How could this incident have been prevented? As you go forward through the module, use the information you gather to list the steps that could have been taken to prevent the outbreak of food poisoning at this event.
Write down your answers. You will then revisit these responses at the end of this chapter. If you think of additional answers as you progress through this chapter, please add them to your notes.
- Image by Lucas Pêgo Oliveira Pereira Luquinhas from Pixabay