Elderly people have a higher risk of harm when it comes to food poisoning.
This is due to slower immune response. While seniors need to be more careful about food storage and preparation, studies performed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration find people over 65 are less careful when it comes to handling foods.
After age 65, there is a higher risk of having at least one chronic condition, which weakens the immune system. That increases the chance of contracting food poisoning. Plus, vision changes, a weaker sense of smell, and changing taste buds can make it harder for seniors to detect when a food is bad.
Safe Food Handling Habits
If your parent still cooks meals, make sure they handle foods correctly. Raw meats and raw vegetables need separate cutting boards. Cutting boards should be washed, sterilized with a bleach solution after use, and rinsed thoroughly. If your parent cannot tolerate bleach, white vinegar is an alternative. Vinegar cannot kill staph, however, so bleach is best.
Before chopping foods, your parent needs to wash their hands in hot water. Make sure that soap is used. Dry hands with a paper towel. Kitchen towels gather bacteria, so you need something that’s a one-time use.
Wash vegetables and fruits prior to chopping them. Meats should be kept in the refrigerator until ready to use. Use the USDA’s website to find the length of time a food can be frozen or stored in the refrigerator. Label everything and clear outdated items each week.
Cook Meats Thoroughly
Use a digital thermometer to make sure meats are cooked properly. For example, the USDA says poultry must be cooked to 165 degrees. Pork is 145 degrees. It’s recommended that beef is cooked to well or 145 degrees. Ground beef and ground pork need to be at least 160 degrees in order to kill E-coli.
Check Recalls and Safety Alerts
The government releases reports on recalled food items and safety alerts every day. Sign up for alerts from FoodSafety.gov to keep updated. Some recalls and alerts aren’t that concerning. They may simply say a food that was said to be dairy-free does contain milk powder. Others, such as the romaine lettuce contaminated with E-coli are important to know.
Your mom or dad may need help with meal preparation and safe food handling. Home health care services can cover those needs. Caregivers come to your parent’s house throughout the week. They offer companionship, meal services, transportation, and so much more that helps your parent to age at home. To learn more, talk to a home care agency now.
If you or a family member are in need of Home Health Care in Hallandale, FL, call the caring professionals at Star Multi Care today at (954) 870-4770.
Providing service in Boca Raton, West Palm Beach, Delray Beach, Boynton Beach, Weston, Southwest Ranches, Pembroke Pines, Cooper City, Lighthouse Point, and Wilton Manors.