Food safety can often be a concern for seniors, or others that may have a bit of a forgetful nature. Below are some tips to help keep food fresh, and bacteria out!

First off, you want to make sure that your refrigerator is running at the right temperature. Perishable foods need to be kept refrigerated at 40 degrees or below. Otherwise bacteria may start to grow, and bacteria grows very rapidly. Invest in a good appliance thermometer (they’re about $7-$10) to make sure you’re within the safe range.

Food will mostly stay good for up to four days in your refrigerator.

Beyond that point you are running the risk of it spoiling. Fruits, veggies, and deli meat spoil fastest, with fish close behind. Chicken and pork will spoil next, with beef kept just a bit longer.

Every time you reheat your food, the quality declines, so try to only scoop out what you plan on eating each time instead of reheating the entire dish.

There are a few rules to refrigeration safety to follow. These simple guidelines will help your tasty meals keep good in the fridge for quick bites later on in the week.

Do these things to ensure food safety for older adults

  • Refrigerate all perishable food items as soon as you canelderly safe food guidelines
  • Always marinate your foods in the refrigerator instead of on the countertop
  • Chicken, eggs, raw meat, cut fruits and vegetables or cooked food should be frozen or refrigerated before sitting out for a maximum of two hours. One hour is the max when the indoor temperature is above 90°F
  • Never let your frozen foods defrost at room temperature! To safely thaw food, place it in the fridge to defrost. You can pour cold water over the food in the sink to quickly defrost it.
  • Cook all thawed foods immediately
  • Go through your fridge every few days and either use or discard leftovers

A good rule of thumb is to keep your refrigerator clean to avoid cross-contamination.

Any time you are storing raw meat of any kind, wiping down the shelf it was on or the drawer it was in with an antibacterial wipe. This will reduce your risk of picking up something nasty, such as salmonella, listeria, E. coli, whipworms or trichinosis.

It’s estimated that each year, 48 million people in the United States suffer from some kind of acute foodborne illness, and 3,000 will die from them. Unsafe food may harbor parasites, chemicals, and many different types of bacteria that can be harmful to you and your family.

If you really can’t tell, just remember, when in doubt, throw it out!

Looking for help at home to protect your senior loved ones from foodborne illnesses? My Choice Home Care is an elderly in-home care service that serves clients in Macon, Jackson, and Haywood Counties in North Carolina. Counties served in Georgia are Rabun, Towns, and Habersham. Counties served in Upstate South Carolina are Oconee, Pickens, and Anderson. You can send us a message here or call (828) 200-9000 to speak to someone today. We can help your loved ones enjoy the benefits of living independently.