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Food Seniors are Advised Not to Eat

Sensational Seniors

Plate of food

One of the most commonly asked questions for food safety is in regards to frozen foods. Frozen foods are often a handy way for senior citizen's to keep healthy, easy and quick to prepare foods on hand. Rest assured, if food was good when you or your loved one placed it in the freezer, it will be good when it is taken out to be consumed.

Microbe Depiction Food stored constantly at 0 degrees (or lower) will always be safe. Only the quality suffers with lengthy freezer storage. Freezing keeps food safe by slowing the movement of molecules, causing microbes to enter a dormant stage. Freezing preserves food for extended periods because it prevents the growth of microorganisms that cause both food spoilage and foodborne illness.

Freezing inactivates any bacteria, yeasts and molds present in food. Once thawed, however, these microbes can again become active, multiplying under the right conditions to levels that can lead to foodborne illness. Since they will then grow at about the same rate as microorganisms on fresh food, you must handle thawed items as you would any perishable food. This is why it is important food is frozen fresh and free of microbes.

Cooking, however, will destroy all parasites.

Reducing Risk of Illness

To reduce risks of illness from bacteria in food, seniors (and others who face special risks of illness) are advised not to eat:

  • Raw fin fish and shellfish, including oysters, clams, mussels and scallops.
  • Raw or unpasteurized milk or cheese.
  • Soft cheeses such as feta, Brie, Camembert, blue-veined, and Mexican-style cheese. Hard cheeses, processed cheeses, cream cheese, cottage cheese or yogurt need not be avoided.

Feta Cheese     Brie Cheese     Camembert Cheese

  • Raw or lightly cooked egg or egg products including salad dressings, cookie or cake batter, sauces and beverages such as egg nog. Foods made from commercially pasteurized eggs are safe to eat.
  • Raw meat or poultry.
  • Raw sprouts (alfalfa, clover and radish).
  • Unpasteurized or untreated fruit or vegetable juice. (These juices will carry a warning label).
  • New information on food safety is constantly emerging. Recommendations and precautions are updated as scientists learn more about preventing food borne illness. You need to be aware of and follow the most current information on food safety.

Food Safety Hotlines

The Food and Drug Administration Hotline can answer questions about safe handling of seafood, fruits and vegetables, as well as rules that govern food safety in restaurants and grocery stores. You can reach them by calling 888-723-3366.

The USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline can answer questions about safe handling of meat and poultry as well as many other consumer food issues. Call them at 888-674-6854.

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