Shares in Europe’s largest retirement home operator Korian slumped earlier this week after five residents in one of the group’s homes in Lherm, south of Toulouse, died of suspected food poisoning.
On Monday, 22 residents were taken ill at the Cheneraie care home. Five died, 13 remain in hospital and three stayed at the home.
Local newspaper reports have linked the deaths to foie gras.
“We are all in shock. I want to express both my personal condolences and that of Korian. Our priority today is to be close to bereaved families to take care of residents, their families and support our teams, themselves in shock,” said general manager Charles-Antoine Pinel.
As a precaution, no food preparation will be carried out on site until the results of the analysis are known
The group’s share price fell as much as 9% after the news broke, though it has rallied since then.
Korian has 803 facilities in five countries across Europe with 300,000 patients and residents according to its website. In mid-March, it reported profits of €123m (US$138m) on revenues of €3.3bn.