Using a Food Thermometer for Safe Eating – Family Caregiver Quick Tip

Cooking for our senior loved ones is an activity that brings benefits and risks.

They and you love it when they can get some of their favorite foods made with love.

But sometime that food may not love them.

Sometimes food that has been prepared or stored at the wrong temperature or time can lead to foodborne illness.

Seniors are vulnerable to food poisoning due to a reduced immune system response, multiple chronic medical conditions, and sometimes the medications they are taking.

They are more at risk than younger adults to suffer from ill effects of contaminated foods, therefore it is very important that we encourage them to follow food safety guidelines and we do as well when preparing food for them.

Food Thermometers

One important technique that home cooks of any age should be using is monitoring safe food temperatures with a food thermometer.

Knowing our foods are prepared, reheated and stored at the proper temperature can be a good step towards reducing the risk of food poisoning in your senior loved one.

Tips for Using a Food Thermometer

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics suggests the right way to use a food thermometer:

  1. Select the right type of thermometer for your needs, from pop-up to digital to manual. Be sure to follow product instructions.
  2. Use either ice water or freezing water to make sure the thermometer is accurate.
  3. Wait the recommended amount of time before you read your thermometer.
  4. Ensure you know the safe temperature for the type of food you are cooking.
  5. After using, always clean your thermometer with hot, soapy water.

Here is a guide for proper food temperatures to use once you have your food thermometer that you can printout and keep handy in the kitchen.

Additional Resources

Here are more stories that can help keep your senior food safe!