FOOD poisoning is considered the most likely culprit behind a lethal gastroenteritis outbreak at a Guardamar del Segura nursing home which killed two people. A further 20 were badly affected by the infection and five remain in hospital after it erupted on December 9.
Health officers have shut down the kitchen at the Casaverde home and taken samples for investigation. They will provide more information when concrete evidence is at hand but have already identified a series of hygienic issues in the kitchen, which will remain closed until it is safe.
The two victims, both women, aged 75 and 85, died shortly after the alarm bells went off in the home at around 9pm on the Friday evening. A 93-year-old woman was among the five taken to hospital for observation, who are all said to be recovering well.
Casaverde is a private nursing home favoured by the expat community with a high percentage of foreign residents. It is the first serious outbreak of its kind at the centre and it is unclear what happens next, and how the residents will be fed in the near future.
With hygiene violations already observed, food poisoning through negligence could result in a catastrophic lawsuit for the home as the families of the deceased demand justice.