Something that you might not think about is how important food safety is for your senior’s well-being. If she’s eating foods that are unsafe, that ups her risk for foodborne illnesses and can wreak havoc on her body and her immune system.
Use Proper Handwashing Techniques
Washing hands properly is key to reducing so many different problems, including the contamination of food while cooking. You want to use warm water and plain soap. Rub the soap into your hands for at least 30 seconds and make sure to get in between fingers and the backs of your hands. Rinse well and wash your hands several times while cooking to reduce the likelihood of cross-contamination.
Only Thaw Food in the Fridge
You might have thawed food on the counter or in the kitchen sink for years, but it’s not a recommended technique for thawing food. The reason for that is that bacteria start to grow on foods immediately as they start to thaw. The time it takes for the food to completely thaw out is also plenty of time for bacteria to have a party. The better plan is to thaw foods overnight in the fridge or to use the microwave defrost setting.
Make Sure Food Is Thoroughly Cooked
When you’re deep in the cooking process, don’t jump the gun and try to get foods on the table too fast. You need to make sure that meats in particular are cooked to the proper temperatures. Instant-read meat thermometers can make this error proof. It’s much better to take your time and get the food to the right temperature.
Get Leftovers into the Fridge ASAP
After eating, leftovers can’t just sit around. It’s more of that bacteria growing problem. Food can cool on the counter for a little while, but it’s best to get leftovers into a container and stowed in the fridge or freezer as soon as possible. It also helps to make sure that your senior’s fridge and freezer are set to proper temperatures. There are guides inside most refrigerators to help with this process.
Learn the Signs of Food Poisoning
It’s vital that you know what the signs of food poisoning are, just in case. If your elderly family member starts to experience a fever or starts vomiting or experiencing diarrhea, that’s a big sign of trouble. Her doctor may ask you to keep an eye on those symptoms and watch for signs of dehydration. If your senior can’t keep any water down, she may need to go to her doctor.
Your elderly family member may need some extra help with eating safe meals, especially if cooking has become difficult for her. Working with home care providers is a great way to make sure your senior is eating healthy, home-cooked meals.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Care Services in Northbrook IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.