Adults over 65 years old are more prone to food poisoning and must take extra caution with food safety. Surprisingly, surveys show that seniors aren’t that careful concerning food safety than the younger ones. With the rise of independent living, more seniors are choosing to live on their own as long as they can. The problem is, for some seniors who continue to handle and/or cook their own food, they have to be extra careful and ask for help whenever they need it.
Why Are Seniors More Prone?
As people grow older, so do their immune systems. This makes it more difficult for them to ward off bacteria and the severe illnesses they cause. Likewise, seniors usually have weakened kidneys for filtering bacteria and less stomach acid for controlling bacteria. When they develop food poisoning, it could be more difficult to treat and could even reoccur. A poor sense of smell and vision might also keep them from telling signs of food spoilage.
It’s not uncommon for seniors to have experienced or been diagnosed with chronic conditions such as cancer, heart disease, arthritis, or diabetes. Eventually, they might be taking maintenance medications for these. These crucial factors might result in compromised immune systems, resulting in seniors to be more vulnerable to developing food poisoning.
Australian Institute of Accreditation and other NSW specialists providing food safety certificates added that such cases could get worse as seniors age if they don’t pay more attention to their food. In fact, now that they're old, they should be relying more on businesses that follow food safety.
What Should Seniors Do?
The great news is that seniors could easily prevent contracting food poisoning. First, seniors should remember to wash their hands before and after handling and cooking food. They have to make certain that there are ample lights in the kitchen and that they wear their eyeglasses. Seniors should consider cooking easy-to-prepare meals or order from dining establishments that have staff members who acquired a food safety certificate.
They must refrigerate all leftovers as soon as possible and then reheat properly prior to eating. Likewise, they should practice labelling perishable foods with an easy-to-read note instead of depending on their memory. Lastly, it’s an excellent idea to get support from friends and family to keep up with more difficult kitchen tasks.