As we age, our body becomes more susceptible to the symptoms of foodborne diseases, such as those caused by , viruses, and parasites. These ailments are often amplified by underlying and weakened .
After all, even the most trivial symptomatic issues caused by could become life-threatening health problems for an . Therefore, taking steps to reduce the risk of foodborne illness is imperative, especially when caring for an elder loved one.
is something that everyone should practice, but for aging adults, it could mean the difference between life and death.
for is vital in reducing the chances of foodborne disease by implementing preventative measures.
It's no secret that as we grow older, our body becomes less capable of warding off illnesses. This means that even minor afflictions can become serious health problems.
By taking precautions to help avoid the possibility of
, as well as nausea, vomiting, and dehydration that come with it, you are ensuring a better future for you and your loved one.
Washing your hands with
is the best way to prevent the spread of ; a fact supported by the ( ). To promote , you must wash your hands each time they come in contact with , , or .
However, you should never wash
products because they could cause splashing, sending bacteria-ridden water all over the kitchen.
Regardless of whether you’re shopping, marinating, or prepping, is preventable.
occurs when or eggs come in contact with any other . When shopping at the , place and in separate bags so they won't touch the or .
When raw foods are not cooked at the proper temperature, they can put you at an . In short, is safe food.
If you are unsure about the . of a , use a to verify the temperature. You can find internal cooking temperature information and diagrams at
After is complete, leftovers must be placed in the refrigerator or freezer within two hours, as recommended by the .
Additionally, food should only be thawed in the fridge, microwave, or under cold water. If you plan on marinating , make sure to leave it concealed in the refrigerator and not at room temperature.
When for seniors, the items must have a low risk of causing reflux or . There are numerous food products that are safe to eat and have little chance of leading to foodborne diseases.
Here are some of the safest
for an elder loved one:
Hard or processed cheeses
Unlike non-processed cheeses, hard, processed cheeses can be left out at room temperature for several hours without garnering bacteria.
(made from )
Similar to hard cheeses, made using are safe to consume even after being at room temperature for several hours.
Fully cooked smoked fish or seafood
When fish is smoked, it eliminates the possibility of collecting on the meat. Smoking also gives off a nice flavor.
reheated until steaming hot
One of the few foods that are still tasty after being reheated using a microwave. are a convenient choice for senior citizens.
Be sure to grill the sandwich until the meat inside is steaming hot, and it will be perfectly safe to eat.
Fully cooked fish
If you are eating fish, there is a possibility of . Be sure to fully cook the fish until the meat is loose and flaky.
Fully cooked eggs
When it comes to fully-cooked eggs, the safest options are the hard-boiled or scrambled versions. Fully cooking the eggs destroys dangerous bacteria and also makes them easier to digest
are vulnerable to foodborne such as and . Your loved one's and organs no longer have the ability to protect their bodies from harmful germs due to the body slowing down over time. A heavy amount of with these could land an elderly person in an emergency facility, requiring .
To prevent this from happening, you’ll want to help your elder loved one avoid these
and cooked meat
Chicken, , , and foods containing these ingredients, are veritable magnets for . They can also seep bacteria into your , so always wash it after use.
This includes milk and like and . Most have a short shelf-life and can only be left unrefrigerated for a couple of hours.
Eggs and egg products
, , and are some of the more popular foods that contain eggs. Even like to pluck a few balls of raw from the bowl before baking, however, this could lead to poisoning.
like and are spoiled, so elderly people should avoid them.
such as and . These are known to cause of .
Growing older makes you wiser and gives you many life experience skills. Unfortunately, it also makes you more susceptible to foodborne diseases.
With many suffering from and weakened , a bout with could be life-threatening.
So, if you are acting as the caregiver for an elder loved one, it is important to know which foods are safe for them. By doing so, you might unknowingly be saving a life.
Robert C. Fisher is a Nurse Director at a large medical center in Boston, MA, who holds a Master’s in Nursing Leadership and Administration and an MBA in Healthcare Management.
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