Food Safety for Holidays & Everyday – Family Caregiver Quick Tip

Celebrating holidays with family and friends is very important for our senior loved ones.

Time remembering the past celebrations and creating new memories can be rejuvenating for them.

Gathering for a picnic, a big meal or a party, however, means serving foods that could be harmful for our seniors.

Food poisoning is also a concern for many caregivers, who might not be able to take time away from caregiving to be sick.

Foodborne Illness Consequences

Our senior loved ones are risk from foodborne illness and can become very ill from food poisoning.

Older adults are more vulnerable to tainted foods and becoming sick largely because their immune systems are weakened.

Their stomachs often don’t produce as much acid to handle bacteria they eat and their kidneys are as strong to filter out impurities from their blood.

Prevention is key for our senior loved ones because, once they become ill, they are sicker than someone who is healthier and the likelihood of them getting sick again is greater.

Tips for Prevention

There are some tips we can all do to help keep our kitchens safe from foodborne illness during the holidays and every day.

Be sure that our seniors are practicing safe food handling in their own homes too!

  1. Wash hands frequently.
  2. Use separate cutting boards for meats, raw produce and ready to eat foods.
  3. Use separate knives, plates and serving utensils between raw and cooked foods.
  4. Refrigerate leftovers within two hours of serving.
  5. Read expiration dates on the label and toss out food past its prime.
  6. Encourage seniors to wear their glasses so they can read the food labels and see spills that need to be cleaned.
  7. Don’t rely on sense of smell to find spoiled foods — they often have no bad odor.

These are just a few steps we can all take in the kitchen or at our family get-togethers to keep everyone in the family safe from food borne illness.

Additional Resources

Here are some additional articles that you might find helpful to keep your seniors safe from food poisoning.