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Food Safety Tips for Seniors

Oct 31, 2016 by Luke Ries

A Dangerous Oversight

It can be difficult to pay close attention to the safety of our food. Many of us have busy schedules that demand meals be prepared quickly – and when that happens, safety can often be sacrificed. Taking extra precaution is certainly worth the time though – and in many cases, it can save lives. This is especially true for aging adults.

As we age, there are certain biological changes that make the risk of falling prey to foodborne illness much greater. Decreased efficiency from the GI tract, stomach, and kidneys allows for harmful bacteria to grow at a staggering rate. Additionally, aging adults can be much more susceptible to illness, due to weakened immune systems and existing conditions, such as cancer or diabetes. But despite the increased likelihood of getting foodborne illness, there are plenty of easy preventative measures your aging loved ones can take.

Whether they are already knowledgeable about food safety, or they need more education, suggest the following tips to help keep your loved ones safe.

Food Safety Tips for Seniors

  • Keep Bacteria at Bay – Washing your hands is certainly important, but it’s vital that you also wash any surface (cutting boards, kitchen counters, etc.) that comes into contact with raw food, especially if the surface will be used for preparing.
     
  • Keep It Separated – Cross-contamination is one of the leading causes of foodborne illness. Be sure to separate poultry, eggs, seafood, and raw meats from other foods.
     
  • Not Hot Enough –Use a food thermometer to ensure cooked foods are safe to eat, and follow internal temperature guidelines for all foods. Some foods may look as if they’re done cooking, but it’s better to make sure using a thermometer.
     
  • Chilling Out – Subsequent to cooking (and eating), be sure to put all cooked foods in the refrigerator as soon as possible, generally within two hours. Also check to see that foods in the refrigerator are kept at a temperature of forty degrees or below.

 

Some may fell that practicing proper food safety can be inconvenient and eat up time unnecessarily. But it doesn’t have to be difficult. By following the easy tips above, your aging loved ones can enjoy cooking and eating with the knowledge that proper measures have been taken. Be sure to consult with their doctors or dieticians for additional safety guidelines.

The In-Home Care Advantage

It can be challenging to ensure that your loved ones are making the best choices when it comes to safe meal preparation – but don’t fret. Our professional and compassionate caregivers can help. From meal preparation to personal care, our caregiving team provide a wide range of senior care services, with the goal of seeing that your loved ones lead happy, independent, and safe lives.

If you believe in home senior care is a viable option for your loved ones, remember that Comfort Keepers® is ready to help. You can contact us here, or call (920) 204-6886 to discover all the ways in which we can make a difference in your loved ones’ lives.

 

 

References:

https://www.foodsafety.gov/risk/olderadults/

http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodborneIllnessContaminants/PeopleAtRisk/ucm312705.htm

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