Nfld. & Labrador

3 people hospitalized by salmonella outbreak at St. John's retirement home

More than a dozen residents at a retirement home in St. John's have been infected with salmonella, with three of them hospitalized for serious gastrointestinal symptoms.

Source of the bacteria that infected 14 at Tiffany Village is under investigation

A Tiffany Village official says the outbreak at the retirement home is part of a larger, regional outbreak. (Tiffany Village/Facebook)

More than a dozen residents at a retirement home in St. John's have been infected with salmonella bacteria, with three of them hospitalized with serious gastrointestinal symptoms.

An administrator at Tiffany Village said residents at the home began showing symptoms in mid-August and salmonella was confirmed Aug. 19. Fourteen residents at the 160–bed facility were diagnosed with the bacterial infection.

We understand from our communications with the provincial department of health and community services that this is a much broader outbreak.- Andrea Avery

"It was a very upsetting time and it was very upsetting for our residents," said the Andrea Avery, the home's vice-president of operations, who said the home was closed immediately upon discovery of the outbreak.

"We are very close to them. They are like our own parents and grandparents."

Avery said two of the residents hospitalized with salmonella have recovered and returned home and the third is expected to leave hospital soon.

Avery said the home does not know the source of the infections but she said the outbreak is not isolated to Tiffany Village.

"We understand from our communications with the provincial Department of Health and Community Services that this is a much broader outbreak," she said.

Avery also said provincial health officials are trying to determine the source of the salmonella.

The Department of Health said in a media release Friday evening there have been 27 confirmed cases of salmonella reported in the province this month. 

These 27 cases are not related to the recent food recalls issued by the Public Health Agency of Canada for red onions and fresh peaches, the department said. 

"Officials are gathering case exposure history information to determine the source of the outbreak," reads the release.

The department also said anyone experiencing symptoms such as stomach cramps, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and dehydration should seek medical attention, and then stay at home until the symptoms are resolved.

Avery said it's the first time there has been an outbreak of salmonella at the privately owned and operated Tiffany Village. But it isn't the first time an outbreak has happened at a retirement home in Newfoundland.

2019 salmonella outbreak in C.B.S. 

According to an access-to-information request to the provincial government, there was an outbreak at the Admiral's Coast Retirement Centre in Kelligrews in August 2019.

A total of 34 residents of the Admiral's Coast Retirement Centre in Kelligrews were diagnosed with salmonella infections in 2019. (Admiral's Coast Retirement Centre/Facebook)

A total of 34 residents were infected at that home. An undisclosed number of them were hospitalized.

An investigation by Service NL and public health officials concluded that "the source of the salmonella outbreak is suspected to be undercooked turkey served on July 28, 2019," according to a Department of Health and Community Services information note released by the access-to-information request.

The note also says that after the outbreak, police were notified and expected to determine if charges were warranted.

A Royal Newfoundland Constabulary spokesperson told CBC News on Friday the investigation into the outbreak at the privately owned and operated Kelligrews home was concluded with no charges laid.

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

About the Author

Mark Quinn

CBC News

Mark Quinn is a videojournalist with CBC's bureau in St. John's.

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