13 steps suggested for an Investigation for food borne illness
1. Select a number of residents from the total number of residents who became ill; review their records for documentation of when the symptoms started and when they stopped.
2. Determine the time frame to be investigated.
3. Examine the dishwasher. Is the dishwasher cycle reaching 165 degrees for hot water temperature dishwasher? Is the dishwasher chemical dispensing system dispensing adequate amounts of chemical sanitizer to register adequately on the test strips? Check the dishwasher logs for the time frame being investigated.
4. Are the dishes clean after being processed through the dishwasher?
5. Is the dishwasher operating as it should according to the manufacturer’s directions? If staff are having to manually turn on and off the water to the dishwasher something is not operating correctly.
6. Examine the hand wash sink and the supplies staff use to wash their hands. Is the sink functioning properly? Is there adequate soap and paper towels?
7. Observe the food preparation process used by the cook. Is the cook following safe food rules? Changes gloves between different tasks? Was left over hot food cooled with in the parameters of safe food handling?
8. Are staff properly washing their hands the required length of time and using correct technique? Changing gloves when appropriate?
9. Review the meal menus, the actual food that was served to residents during the time frame being investigated. Was the food obtained from an acceptable food vendor?
10. Review food temperature logs for the dates and food that was served to residents during the time being investigated. Was the food cooked to the correct temperature? Check the thermometer being used; that it is functioning according to manufacturer’s specifications.
11. Review staff schedules for staff that worked and were in contact with the residents or the residents’ food in the sample of residents. Were any of the staff sick and if so what were their symptoms? If staff called in sick what were their symptoms and when did they start?
12. Review the facility’s policies for infection control. Did staff follow the policy? Does the policy/procedure need to be updated?
13. Analysis your collected data and determine follow up action based on the data.