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Family of 91-year-old who died after food poisoning outbreak release statement

The family of a 91-year-old woman who died after a food poisoning outbreak have expressed concern over suggestions her death was linked to a northern suburbs Meals on Wheels service.

Neil Mitchell read out the statement from the family, who say they are ‘deeply saddened’ by her death.

The Department of Health confirmed the woman died in December.

In a statement, the family have paid tribute to their much-loved mother, who was a long supporter of Meals on Wheels.

An investigation is ongoing.

FULL STATEMENT: 

Our family is deeply saddened by the loss of our beloved mother. The circumstances of her passing are particularly poignant for us for a number of reasons.
 
Firstly we are a family of health professionals and understand the ramifications of public health issues and the importance of food safety, especially for the elderly.
 
Secondly our mother volunteered for the Moreland City Council’s Meals on Wheels service from the late 1970’s and she continued her volunteer work with the Bob Hawke Community Centre until recently when she became a client of the service.
 
Our mother believed the Meals on Wheels service was incredibly important to Moreland’s elderly citizens.  She had a wonderful relationship with the staff at the Bob Hawke Centre and considered them as her friends, as do we.

Moreland City Council has willingly co-operated with the Health Department and maintained regular contact with our family during this difficult time. All internal testing has shown no source of contamination within the Bob Hawke Community Centre. Our family has full confidence in the Meals on Wheels service and we only hope that our statement is given the same media coverage as the negative media coverage released thus far.

This long standing relationship between the Meals on Wheels service and our family makes it extremely difficult for both parties. We ask that our family and the staff of the Bob Hawke Centre be given both space and respect at this time.

Related: Health Department confirms food poisoning outbreak

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