Caregivers in Little Neck, NY – Safe Food Handling is Essential to Protecting Susceptible Seniors from Becoming Ill
Food safety for seniors is key to ensuring older adults stay healthy well into the future. Everyone’s health is different. Some, like older adults, are more susceptible to foodborne illnesses than others. Here are ten steps you can take to prevent foodborne illness at home using the four basic food rules: Clean, Separate, Cook and Chill.
1. Wash your hands, cooking surfaces, and cutting boards often. If your cutting boards develop deep grooves that are hard to clean, replace them with new, non-porous ones.
2. Try using paper towels instead of cloth towels to clean surfaces. Cloth towels that are re-used can become contaminated with germs easily.
3. Keep your raw meat, poultry, and seafood separated from other foods in your fridge and reserve a different cutting board solely for these food products.
4. Always use clean plates for cooked food. Never place cooked food on plates that held raw food. The raw food bacteria could contaminate the cooked food.
5. Use a well-calibrated, clean thermometer for meat, seafood and poultry.
6. Microwave ovens can sometimes leave cold spots in food where bacteria can still survive. You can prevent this by covering your food, stirring it a couple times during heating, and rotating the dish if you do not have a turntable.
7. Heat your leftovers to 165 degrees, your beef to 160 degrees and fish to 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
8. Keep cold food cold – refrigerate perishables and put all prepared food in the fridge within two hours of cooking.
9. Shallow containers can quicken cooling time and decrease the chances of bacteria developing on your food.
10. If a recipe calls for marinating – marinate in the fridge. Never leave meats out at room temperature to marinate.
In addition to these simple tips, seniors can further prevent harm by avoiding raw or unpasteurized milk or soft cheeses, raw meat or poultry, raw sprouts, and smoked seafood. Foods such as these can contain bacteria that are especially harmful to those with lower immunity.
If you need someone to help you make sure your senior parent is eating well, consider hiring a home care provider. A caregiver is perfect for helping your parent prepare meals and keep hygiene standards around food. They can also help make the shopping list and go grocery shopping for nutritious foods each week.
There are many things that contribute toward good health, and food safety is one of them. Food safety starts at the store and includes the method you bring the food home, how it is stored, prepared for meals, and how leftovers are stored and served.