Every September welcomes National Food Safety Awareness Month again, which is the perfect time to look again at how safe your senior’s food is. This means looking at how she’s storing foods, whether her food is cooked correctly, and whether there might be other challenges around food that may not be as safe for her as they could be. These tips, paired with personal care at home, can help you and your senior to look more closely at food safety and what it means for her.
Foodborne Illnesses Are Preventable
It’s vital to remember that foodborne illnesses are largely preventable. While there are recalls for food items, most food safety revolves around ensuring that once the food is at home, you treat it safely. That means following a few different food rules to keep yourself and your senior safe from foodborne illness.
Keep Raw Foods Separated from Other Foods
Raw foods, like meats and seafood, should always be kept away from other foods, like produce. In the fridge, designate a specific area for raw meats and seafood. It’s a good idea to put these items on the lowest shelf in the refrigerator and in a container that can catch any leakage. This can help to keep any leaks from contaminating other foods in the fridge.
Remind Your Senior to Wash Her Hands
Hand washing is always vital when you’re talking about hygiene and safety. Remind your elderly family member to use soap and warm water for at least 20 to 30 seconds while washing her hands. Even if your aging family member isn’t the one doing the cooking, washing her hands before she eats a solid way to keep her as safe as possible from contaminated foods.
Cook Foods Properly and Promptly Refrigerate Leftovers
It’s vital to cook foods, especially meats, to the proper temperature. Using a meat thermometer can help you ensure that your senior has accurate information. If cooking on her own is difficult or you’re worried that she might not cook food thoroughly enough, personal care at home providers can help. It’s also essential to ensure that leftovers get put into the fridge or freezer as soon after cooking as possible, so they don’t start to grow harmful bacteria.
Ensure Your Senior Has Help While Eating if She Needs It
If the act of eating on her own is becoming a challenge for your senior, it might be time for personal care at home. Caregivers can help to steady your senior’s hands, help her to eat, and remind her to chew and swallow her food. Personal care at home ensures that your senior is as safe as possible while getting the nutrition she needs daily.
Food safety covers a lot of ground when you think about it. There are so many ways that food can become a hazard for your elderly family member, so it helps to have a plan in place to help her out.