Every year, around one in six people, end up sick or hospitalized due to a foodborne illness.
People over the age of 64 are at a higher risk due to the slowed production of digestive fluids and the likeliness of having at least one chronic health condition.
Many cases of food poisoning or infections from bacteria like E. coli, listeria, and salmonella can be prevented. If your parents are ignoring these safe food practices, take steps to change their habits.
Keep Track of Food Recalls
Pay attention to food recalls. Foodsafety.gov and the CDC’s food safety pages are good sites to start with. Sometimes, the food recalls are simply that something is in the mix that wasn’t listed in the ingredient, such as nuts being in a breakfast cereal. They may not impact your parents.
If a food recall involves a bacteria like E. coli, you’ll want to remove that item from your parents’ refrigerator and return it to the store for a refund. Lettuce, spinach, and frozen vegetables are often linked to this type of recall.
Thaw Foods Properly
Don’t thaw meats on a counter or in a drained sink. If you have to thaw meats fast, use a microwave or bowl of cool water. Otherwise, thaw them slowly in a refrigerator.
Cook Foods to the Proper Temperature
Invest in a digital, instant-read meat thermometer. Print out and laminate a chart of cooking temperatures for the meats your parents eat. Poultry needs to be cooked to 165 F even if it’s ground. Pork, lamb, veal, and beef should be at 145 F or 160 F if they’re ground. Fish also need to be at 145 F.
Cook a precooked ham or smoked pork leg to 165 F. Cook egg dishes like a frittata or quiche to 160 F. Leftovers need to be 165 F. These temperatures kill bacteria associated with undercooked meats and proteins.
Package and Freeze/Refrigerate Cooked Foods Before They Cool
After dinner, take care of leftovers as quickly as possible. Don’t leave them laying out on counters for several hours. Get them into containers or bags and move them to a refrigerator or freezer.
Leftovers are only good for a few days. If an item is on its third day in the refrigerator, move it to the freezer or compost it.
Have you considered having elderly care aides cook meals for your parents? Caregivers can help them grocery shop, put away groceries before they spoil, and prepare meals. They can store leftovers properly, wash dishes, and sanitize surfaces. Learn more by calling an elderly care agency.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Elderly Care in Bloomfield Hills, MI, please contact the caring staff at Alliance Senior Care today. Call (248) 274-2170.