Food Safety for Seniors

Recent outbreaks of foodborne illness remind us that under certain circumstances, familiar foods can lead to serious consequences, even death. Despite progress in improving the overall quality and safety of food produced in the U.S., significant foodborne illness ad death due to microbial pathogens still occur. During the past few decades, several new important foodborne pathogens, some of which can grow at refrigeration temperatures, have been identified. Changes in demographics, consumer lifestyles food preferences and international trade have resulted in changes in food manufacture and distribution. Along with the ability to microorganism to evolve rapidly and adapt to their environment, these changes present new microbiological challenges to everyone, especially seniors. Federal studies show that seniors do a better job of handling food safely than any other age group. However, to stay safe, follow the following guidelines.

  • Separate raw meat, poultry and seafood from other foods
  • Cook foods to the proper temperatures. Use your stem thermometer
  • Refrigerate prepared foods and leftovers quickly
  • Never thaw frozen food on the counter or sink
  • Go directly home after grocery shopping to place perishable in the refrigerator
  • Wash hands frequently during meal preparation
  • Sanitize all food surfaces, utensils and cutting boards with a product such as bleach

Other handouts may be accessed through the Food Safety Links and through the Food & Lodging section, Craven County Health Department. Some publication through the Craven County Health Department include: Food Safety on the Road, Food Safety and the Weekend Camper, A Boater's Guide to Food Safety, Food Safety at the Beach, Food Safety for Kids, Egg Food Safety, and Hand Washing.

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