Anti aging guide

Food Safety And Elderly People



Why elderly people are particularly vulnerable and how to avoid unnecessary risks?

Over recent years in the United Kingdom there has been a steadily rising incidence of food-borne infection. Problems with salmonella, campylobacter, and listeria have been most marked.

Elderly people are particularly vulnerable for the following reasons.

  • Outbreaks often arise from institutionally prepared foods, for example in hospitals and care homes and day centers which may also prepare meals on wheels.
  • Food handling, preparation, and storage may be difficult for disabled elderly people living at home, and standards may fall as a result.
  • Frail, elderly people have a lower resistance to infection.
  • The consequence of infection are more likely to be severe in vulnerable elderly people.
  • Reluctance to waste means that leftovers are saved and kept to be eaten at a later date in order to be economical.

In order to avoid unnecessary risks, the following guidelines are recommended.

  1. Avoid eating uncooked food known to carry the risk of bacterial contamination, such as eggs (salmonella), soft cheeses (listeria), and also pâtés.
  2. Ensure that food is stored at a safe, low temperature, i.e. less than 4 °C. Check that your fridge and freezer work properly and that their doors shut tightly.
  3. Follow the makers’ instructions, for example with prepared meals when using a microwave.
  4. Respect recommended dates and ensure that frozen foods are properly defrosted before cooking.
  5. If in doubt, always overcook.
  6. Do not save and reheat previously prepared meals, such as meals on wheels or food prepared by neighbors. Eat what you can when it is provided and discard any remainders.
Posted by Carol Hudgens - May 13, 2012 at 3:53 pm