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Regulators bar woman who served poisonous mushrooms from care facilities

Published: Friday, Nov. 30, 2012 9:30 a.m. CDT

(MCT) — SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The caregiver who unwittingly served poisonous mushrooms to patients at a home for the elderly in Loomis, Calif., will be barred from working at any such facilities in the future, state regulators have decided.

Four of the five patients who ate poisonous mushrooms foraged from outdoors and served by the caregiver, Lilia Tirdea, at Gold Age Villa earlier this month have died. Tirdea and one other person also were sickened but both are recovering, officials said.

An investigation by the state Department of Social Services has determined that the poisonings were accidental, according to a report issued Thursday. Nevertheless, regional manager Donna Teutschel wrote in a letter to Tirdea, “your continued or future contact with clients or presence in any child care or residential care facility” licensed by the state “constitutes a threat to the health and safety” of clients.

“Therefore, you must immediately remove yourself from any contact with clients and not be physically present in any facility.”

Neither Tirdea nor the home’s owner, Raisa Olselsky, could be immediately reached for comment Thursday.

Olselsky was not at the home at the time the mushrooms were served, the state’s report said, adding that the owner had warned Tirdea to never serve food that had not been purchased from a grocery store.

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