A committee has been struck to consider whether a shared-meal program should be reinstated at Kiwanis Park Place, following November’s E. coli outbreak at the South Surrey facility.
“It’s kind of hanging in the balance right now,” Crescent Housing Society president Randy Kohls said last week of the service.
“The meal program is not something that we provide normally, but it is sort of an extra program, if you like, in terms of a social activity.”
Food services at the 12850 26 Ave. independent-living complex – which is operated by Crescent Housing Society – were suspended last month, after three senior residents were exposed to E. coli.
Officials with Fraser Health confirmed Dec. 9 that one of the three died Nov. 30, six days after the outbreak was linked to Kiwanis Park Place. While it’s believed the exposure occurred at one of two group meals served between Nov. 8 and 14, it remains unknown if the bacteria caused the resident’s death.
Kohls said the deceased was an elderly woman with mobility issues who had received her meal in her room. He said he would not share her age, “even if I knew.”
Kohls said much was done at Kiwanis following news of the E. coli: the food-services program, including two cooks, was suspended “immediately”; all leftover food was destroyed; the kitchen facility was sanitized; and, notices were posted throughout the complex advising anyone with symptoms to report to their doctor.
“We co-operated very, very fully with the health inspectors,” he said.
Kohls doesn’t expect a decision on the meal program until the new year, and he said it won’t be made without input from residents.
Fraser Health officials said the program could not reopen without the facility first passing a health inspection and obtaining a new health-operating permit.
While the Kiwanis kitchen is closed, residents will be invited to a Christmas luncheon. Kohls assured the event will be catered.
“It will not touch the kitchen.”