As we age, our bodies will naturally deteriorate. Our body systems and organs may not work as well, so older adults tend to become more prone to bacteria and infections. Because of this, aging adults that contract food poisoning typically face higher risks of suffering illnesses, undergoing hospitalizations and even losing their lives.
The telltale signs of foodborne illnesses usually range from fever, diarrhea, vomiting, dehydration, upset stomach to abdominal cramps. In severe cases, it may even lead to death. It’s advisable to consult your doctor immediately should you experience any of these symptoms.
When handling or preparing foods for older adults, you must be extra vigilant to minimize the risks of foodborne illnesses. Here are some of the best tips to prevent food poisoning for your aging loved one.
Separate Ready-to-eat Foods from Raw Foods
Segregate and separate any of your raw foods like fish, shellfish, poultry and meat from other foods during grocery shopping and storing at home. When preparing or cooking, it’s important to also separate them to prevent any cross-contamination.
Wash Food Surfaces, Utensils and Hands Regularly
Before you begin handling any food, always wash your hands thoroughly with soap under warm running water. Do wash the cutting boards, utensils as well as other surfaces as required.
Freeze or Refrigerate Perishable Foods Immediately
Upon the purchase of perishable foods from the grocery store, it’s key to refrigerate them at most within two hours to prevent them from turning bad.
Cook Foods at Safe Temperatures
The majority of bacteria and other harmful organisms can be killed at high heat. You can simply use a food thermometer to properly check the temperatures.
Defrost Food Properly and Safely
It’s not recommended to thaw your frozen food at room temperature, rather let it do so in the refrigerator. If you do use a microwave to defrost your food, you need to cook it right after, don’t freeze them again.
Throw it Out if in Doubt
If you’re uncertain about the safety of the food being prepared, don’t consume it and discard it. Food that has been left out at room temperature for too long may potentially contain harmful bacteria that can cause food poisoning or more severe issues. It’s better not to take the risks here.
Foods to Avoid for Seniors
Foodborne illnesses can be extremely serious or life-threatening especially for aging adults or for those that have weaker immunities. It’s best for seniors to avoid certain foods including:
- Raw or undercooked seafood
- Raw or undercooked eggs or foods that contain eggs
- Raw or undercooked poultry and meat
- Uncooked deli meats, uncooked luncheon meats and hot dogs
- Unpasteurized dairy products
- Raw sprouts
- Soft cheeses like blue-veined cheese, brie, feta and camembert
Live Better and Healthily at TerraBella Roswell
TerraBella Roswell can help you! We have round the clock professional care services that ensures our residents can receive any necessary medical attention at any time. Our attentive caregivers can provide assistance with many tasks, keep your loved ones safe and provide them with greater companionship. We offer exclusive senior living options such as memory care and senior assisted living. Contact us today if you have any questions regarding our programs.