Older adults, as well as children, pregnant women and the chronically ill, are very vulnerable to Foodborne Diseases, this is basically the product of a weak Defenses System. It is also said that older adults are more defenseless against this type of diseases, because the amount of stomach acid decreases with the passage of time and it is precisely the acid, responsible for destroying microorganisms before they enter the small intestine.
The likelihood of suffering a Foodborne Disease is even greater when the senses (sight, smell and taste) are not so acute as to warn of a deteriorated food. Memory problems associated with aging can also prevent preparing food properly and can lead to confusion about the time a food is stored in the refrigerator.
How to reduce risks?
When the older adult is responsible for their daily diet, it is recommended:
- Plan menus according to the needs and schedule purchases based on these menus.
When buying food, be sure to identify its expiration date, and its storage mode. To avoid forgetting, label the food with date (both frozen and fresh).
Example: If you buy a dressing that is at room temperature in the supermarket, you must first locate the expiration date thereof and in case it is very small, you must label the date on the container with a permanent marker ( or using adhesive tape). Once the container is opened, it should be stored in the refrigerator and then discarded when the date is reached.
- When storing, you must separate / portion the food and freeze portions that are not used immediately. This applies especially for meats and sauces.
- Make sure that the containers and kitchen utensils are CLEAN. Try not to use wooden surfaces and utensils. If you have limitations at the vision level, ask for help; blenders, food processors and some other appliances, are uncomfortable equipment to wash, so you should ask for help to disassemble them frequently, wash the blades well, the packages, and disinfect them using hot water.
- Wash your hands before starting to cook, after coughing, sneezing, going to the bathroom or touching the garbage.
DO NOT thaw at room temperature, thaw in the refrigerator (at least 12 hours before). Check that the refrigerator is maintained at 5 ° C or less.
- Cook meats thoroughly, especially ground meat, pork and chicken. Avoid eating raw foods (meats, fish, seafood, sauces with raw eggs, or unpasteurized dairy).
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