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 food-borne illness ad death due to microbial pathogens still occur.

During the past few decades, several new important food-borne 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 of microorganisms to evolve rapidly and adapt to their environment, these changes present new microbiological challenges to everyone, especially seniors.

Food Safety Guidelines

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.

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

Health Publications

Some publications through the Craven County Health Department include:

  • A Boater's Guide to Food Safety
  • Egg Food Safety
  • Food Safety and the Weekend Camper
  • Food Safety at the Beach
  • Food Safety for Kids
  • Food Safety on the Road
  • Hand Washing