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Lindsey SextonSocial Media Coordinator Phone: 501-671-2398Email: email@example.com
by Lindsey Sexton - October 5, 2020
Adults age 65 and older are at a higher risk for hospitalization and death from foodborne
illness. This increased risk of food poisoning is because our organs and body systems
go through changes as people age:
The Food and Drug Administration recommends individuals over the age of 65 avoid the
following foods to reduce the risk of food poisoning:
In the U.S., almost all juice is treated to kill germs. This makes it safe to drink.
The FDA requires a warning label on all juices that have not been treated.
In the past, you may have accidentally been contributing to the risk of foodborne
illness without knowing it by improperly handling foods. Some food preparation techniques
taught over the years are actually unsafe. Common unsafe food-handling practices include:
CLEAN Always wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds before and
after handling food. Make sure your cutting boards, dishes, utensils, and counter
tops are cleaned with hot soapy water between preparing one for and the next. Consider
using paper towels to clean up kitchen surfaces. If you use cloth towels, change them
out frequently, then wash them in the hot cycle of your washing machine. And make
certain to have a separate hand drying towel on hand. Rinse fresh fruits and vegetables
under running tap water, including those with skins and rinds that are not eaten.
Rub firm-skin fruits and vegetables under running tap water or scrub with a clean
vegetable brush while rinsing with running tap water.
SEPARATE Cross-contamination is how bacteria can spread. In the store and at home, separate
raw meat, poultry, seafood and eggs from other foods in your grocery shopping cart,
grocery bags, and in your refrigerator. Keep these raw foods and their juices away
from ready-to-eat foods. Always start with a clean scene— wash hands with warm water
and soap. Wash cutting boards, dishes, countertops and utensils with hot soapy water
between each use. And use one cutting board for fresh produce and a separate one for
raw meat, poultry and seafood. Never place cooked food on a plate that previously
held raw meat, poultry, seafood or eggs.
COOK Food is safely cooked when it reaches a high enough internal temperature to kill
the harmful bacteria that cause illness. Use a food thermometer to measure the internal
temperature of cooked foods. Make sure that meat, poultry, egg dishes, casseroles and
other foods are cooked to the right internal temperature. Color is not a reliable
indicator of doneness. Bring sauces, soups and gravy to a boil when reheating. Cook
eggs until the yolk and white are firm. Only use recipes in which eggs are cooked
or heated thoroughly. When cooking in a microwave oven, cover food, stir and rotate
for even cooking. Food is done when it reaches the correct internal temperature.
CHILL Refrigerate foods as soon as you get them home from the store because cold temperatures
slow the growth of harmful bacteria. Do not over-stuff the refrigerator. Cold air
must circulate to help keep food safe. Keeping a constant refrigerator temperature
of 40ºF or below is one of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of foodborne
illness. Use an appliance thermometer to be sure the temperature is consistently 40ºF
or below. The freezer temperature should be 0ºF or below. Never let raw meat, poultry,
eggs, cooked food or cut fresh fruits or vegetables sit at room temperature more than
2 hours (1 hour when the temperature is above 90ºF). Never defrost food at room temperature.
Food must be thawed in the refrigerator, in cold water, or in the microwave. Food
thawed in cold water or in the microwave should be cooked immediately. Use or discard
refrigerated food on a regular basis. Check USDA cold storage information for optimum storage times.