While the food supply in the United States is one of the healthiest in the world, it doesn’t mean that we are free from food-borne illnesses. Our in-home care providers at Qualicare – Southwest Indiana want to remind people that older adults who are over the age of 65 are at a higher risk of being hospitalized due to a foodborne illness. Fortunately, there are ways we can work together to help ensure our loved ones stay healthy.
Tackling Food Safety Together
Because of the changes that happen to our organs and body systems as we age, we are placed at an increased risk of foodborne illnesses as we grow older.
This is because the digestive tract tends to hold on to food longer than it did when we were younger. This can cause problematic bacteria to grow. In addition, our stomach may not produce enough acid, which can help to reduce the number of bacteria in our intestinal tract. In addition, common medical conditions like diabetes and cancer can put us at a higher risk of foodborne illness.
But, that doesn’t mean we should just sit back and wait for a foodborne illness to occur. Instead, we need to act now to help ourselves and our loved ones prevent foodborne illness as we age.
First, we need to wash and clean our hands often, as well as wash and disinfect surfaces properly, especially where food has been prepared and cooked.
Second, we need to keep things separate when storing and cooking food. For example, we need to keep our raw meat in one place and our ready-to-eat foods in another to avoid cross-contamination.
Third, you want to make sure you cook all foods at the proper temperature. For example, steak should be cooked around 140-degrees, while chicken should be cooked to around 165- to 175-degrees.
Could both you and your loved one need additional help planning and preparing nutritious meals? Visit the Qualicare – Southwest Indiana website today to learn how our team of friendly and qualified in-home care providers can help your family with our 360-degree approach to care!