According to Stacy Kriedeman, spokesperson for the Department of Health, the department conducted an inspection Oct. 23, 2009, at Charles Morris and found the facility failed to “maintain sanitary conditions in the main kitchen and in three of the five unit pantries.”
Observations included in the October report included several carts in the kitchen area soiled “with an accumulation of dried food splatters and residue buildup around the bumper guards;” soiled ceiling tiles; drawers on a work table soiled with dried food and residue; fruit in the refrigerator that had exceeded its expiration date by more than a week; and soiled microwave ovens and refrigerators.
In addition, one employee was observed using “towels from a soiled cart as pot holders when dipping food out of a food kettle. The ends of the towels came in contact with the food. The towels were then placed back on the cart when the employee was finished.”
The Department of Health also found Charles Morris in noncompliance with various pharmacy services requirements. Those deficiencies included failure to lock and secure medications on three of the facility’s five units, and failure to clean two medication refrigerators on two units; insulin vials remaining in use after their expiration dates; medication carts left unlocked and accessible to unauthorized individuals; a medication cup with pills left unattended and accessible to unauthorized individuals; and unclean refrigerators used for medication storage.
In addition, Charles Morris was found to have failed to maintain the privacy of patients’ medical information on two units, by leaving medical records open, unattended, and accessible to unauthorized individuals.
The Department of Health also found that the safety of residents was compromised by razors and medicated shampoo left in unlocked cabinets, accessible to residents.
The facility was also cited for failure to post the availability and location of the State Survey Agency reports, and failure to make the survey results readily accessible to residents on three units.
“The Department of Health came back on Dec. 20, and said all issues have been corrected,” said David Gritzer, president and CEO of the Jewish Association on Aging. “We are now 100 percent in compliance.”
Gritzer maintains that the staff at Charles Morris is well trained. He said many of the deficiencies the Department of Health found were caused by agency nurses — temporary help called in when the regular staff is off from work because of illness.
Although Charles Morris was cited for a multitude of sanitation violations for food service, Gritzer defended the quality of the meals.
“There is nothing wrong with the food,” he said, adding that kashrut was never compromised, and that the kitchen is continually under Va’ad supervision.
(Toby Tabachnick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-687-1263.)