A Florida nursing home has been shut down after the Food and Drug Administration found no less than 2,5 tons of expired animal food during an inspection of the facility.
Fort Myers police seized over one hundred and twenty 52-lb bags of dog food in the basement of the Mariposa Nursing Center after families of the residents raised a number of complaints which led to an official FDA investigation this week.
Many residents reported a number of gastrointestinal symptoms such as severe digestive problems, chronic flatulence, frequent vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea.
“We believe residents of the Mariposa Nursing Center were fed large quantities of dog food which were blended into the actual food and made more palatable with salt and sugar,” Fort Myers Police Officer Ray Johnson said.
“I once complained about the horrible taste of the food and all they did was double my pill prescription” Mariposa resident, Hughes Byron, 94, told reporters.
Two weeks before the FDA raid, a cook was also fired for refusing to taste the residents’ food after he told the owners he did not go to cooking school to end up “preparing dog food,” according to employees.
“We were told to blend the ‘vitamin supplements’ with the rest of the food, but some supplements came in the shape of bones or had paws imprinted on them, so we got pretty suspicious” former kitchen employee, Rafael Iglesias, told reporters.
It is suspected that the owners of the nursing home bought a large amount of dog food during a liquidation sale last October after a local pet shop settled for bankruptcy and decided to “recycle the pet food and feed it to its occupants”, police said.
The Food and Drug Administration warns that although dog food contains the same basic components that are in people food, such as protein, carbohydrates and fats, the proportions of these ingredients are different than in human food and can be harmful if ingested in significant quantities or for prolonged periods of time.