Taking care of your loved ones – especially as they age - requires a delicate balance of providing them with the care and comfort they need while also ensuring that their safety is considered. An important part of care for elderly individuals is maintaining food safety standards. Following these guidelines can ensure the continued health, well-being, and safety of those you are caring for. Here are some food safety tips to keep in mind, courtesy of Senior Helpers South Coast.
The Importance of Food Safety
Food safety is an essential part of caring for a senior or elderly relative. As they age, their ability to process food and absorb nutrients may be affected due to health conditions such as diabetes or dental problems. Also, older adults tend to be at higher risk for certain illnesses that are contracted through contaminated food (e.g., salmonella). For this reason, it is important to take the necessary precautions when preparing their meals and ensuring proper storage conditions.
3 Food Safety Tips to Follow
There are a lot of elements to food safety, but here are three of the most important tips to keep in mind when caring for a senior relative.
1. Cook Food to Proper Temperatures
Make sure to always cook foods to the required temperature (e.g., 165°F for poultry, 145°F for beef and pork, etc.). This ensures that bacteria are killed and food is safe to eat. An electronic thermometer makes it easy to check if food has been cooked correctly, so be sure to have one on hand in your kitchen at all times.
2. Avoid Undercooked or Raw Food
When it comes to food safety, it is best to avoid undercooked or raw foods, like certain types of sushi or very rare steak. Especially for seniors whose immune systems may not be as strong as younger individuals, these types of food can be particularly risky and increase their chances of getting sick from bacteria. When in doubt, cook the dish longer!
3. Store Food Properly
It is important to make sure food is stored properly in the fridge and other storage areas in order to keep it safe for consumption. Avoid leaving foods out at room temperature for more than two hours. This will help minimize the risk of bacterial growth, which can cause food-borne illnesses. Additionally, always refrigerate leftovers within an hour after serving or packaging them securely so they don't spoil.
Senior Helpers Provides Premium Senior Care Services
By following these tips and adhering to proper food safety protocols when caring for a senior relative at home, you can ensure their health and well-being while still providing them with the comfort of being at home surrounded by family members who care about them deep down. Have questions? Contact Senior Helpers South Coast today – we are here to help, with premium senior care services for adults in the Mountain Valley, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Mission Viejo, Costa Mesa, and Laguna Nigel areas.