This is a story of how an educated and caring CDM made a difference in the life of a resident in his facility and in the lives of all of the residents living in Long Term Care Facilities in South Carolina.
I have been working in long term care facilities for about 20 years now and until recently, the only kinds of eggs that are offered at breakfast for the residents were scrambled eggs or hard boiled eggs.
Eggs carry Salmonella, which is the leading cause of foodborne illness in the United States. For that reason, to kill Salmonella in eggs, they must be cooked to a temperature of 160 degrees. That eliminated the possibility to honor the requests for over easy, over medium, or soft boiled eggs. Many of the residents were very unhappy because they were limited to scrambled eggs or hard boiled eggs.
At a Vendor expo at a South Carolina ANFP meeting, a vendor introduced a new product- pasteurized eggs. He explained to the eager CDM that the pasteurizing process, made the eggs safe from Salmonella and could be served used raw in recipes that call for uncooked eggs, such as mayonnaise and hollandaise sauce. Therefore, the eggs would certainly be safe if they were cooked over easy or soft boiled.
This conscientious CDM then arranged an invitation of a surveyor from DHEC (South Carolina’s food safety regulatory agency for long term care) to the next state meeting, along with the Vendor with the pasteurized eggs. After talking with the Vendor and reading the Vendor’s brochures, the surveyor went back to DHEC and amended the regulations so that facilities using pasteurized eggs did not have to cook them to a minimum temperature of 160 degrees.
This is just one example of how a CDM went the extra mile to satisfy his residents’ preferences and educated the state’s regulatory agency and facilitated the change of the guidelines for cooking eggs in Long Term Care Facilities in South Carolina. Residents across the entire state today can have eggs cooked to order because of the initiative of this CDM.
Ginger W. Cater MEd, CDM, CFPP
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