deadly food poisoning; procedures weren’t followed, management clueless

Three patients died, 42 other patients and 12 staff members got sick from Clostridium perfringens in improperly stored chicken salad, so the administrator and associate administrator at Central Louisiana State Hospital have, as they politely say in the South (and smile while the knife goes in), left the facility.

The appropriately named Town Talk reports today the investigations also revealed what the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals termed unacceptable process and management issues.

The investigations, ordered by DHH Secretary Alan Levine, found serious deficiencies in dietary services and concerns with the overall operation of the hospital.

Levine said,

“The day of these tragic deaths, I went to Pineville with Deputy Secretary Tony Keck to personally assess what had happened. We ordered a comprehensive investigation into the patient deaths, and asked other agencies to conduct expert reviews into various issues.

“The staff at CLSH was cooperative, and I’m grateful for that. But I have seen enough evidence of unacceptable performance that I am convinced major changes are necessary. Basic policies were not followed. Staff was not properly educated. The findings across the board raise real concerns related to overall management that go beyond the food service area.”