License revoked for caregiver who served poisonous mushrooms

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A caregiver who unknowingly included poisonous mushrooms in a gravy that killed four seniors and sickened several others in Northern California has had her license revoked.

The state Department of Social Services took the action against Lilia Tirdea after investigating the Gold Age Villa in Loomis, Fox40 in Sacramento reported.


The ban keeps Tirdea from being employed at any other care facility licensed by the state.

The investigation found Tirdea failed to apply state standards by serving ‘foraged mushrooms’ to five residents of the care facility. Tirdea ‘constitutes a threat to the health and safety of the clients,’ according to a report released Thursday and cited by the Associated Press.

Four people died, and two, including Tirdea, fell ill after eating mushroom gravy in early November, the report said. Investigators previously referred to the dish as soup.

Tirdea could not immediately be reached for comment, according to the AP.

The order issued Wednesday bars her from all state licensed care facilities, including those offering child care. The report says Tirdea is still ill and hasn’t returned to work since the incident. She has 15 days to appeal the ban. The report cleared the facility’s owner, Raisa Oselsky, who will be allowed to keep her license. Investigators found that Oselsky had properly trained Tirdea and told her to serve only store-bought food to residents at the care facility near Sacramento.

Tirdea told investigators she did not know the mushrooms she picked in the backyard of the small elder care home were poisonous.

‘This is a very tragic accident. However, after investigating, the department felt this action was necessary to protect the health and safety of individuals who live in licensed care facilities,’ said Michael Weston, a spokesman for the Department of Social Services.

Weston said Oselsky called Tirdea when residents began feeling ill about 12 hours after eating the dish, and learned that she had picked mushrooms and made a meal.

‘The licensee was not present at the time and had no knowledge that the mushrooms were served to the residents until the following day after residents began to fall ill,’ the report said.

The four people who died have been identified as Dorothy Mary Hart, 92; Barbara Lopes, 86; Teresa Olesniewicz, 73; and Frank Warren Blodgett, 90. The name of the other person who became ill has not been released.


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