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With age, it is important for seniors to be more aware of what they are exposed to in their own environment. For instance, older adults are more susceptible to infections because their immune systems tend to be less active than when they were younger. Certain foods that run a higher risk of bacteria contamination further increase this risk and should not be consumed by older adults. The following are the top foods that Santa Clarita Home Care Assistance encourages seniors to avoid.
Foods such as bean sprouts and raw broccoli are significant breeding grounds for bacteria. They are typically grown in warm, moist environments, which are favorable conditions for pathogens such as E. Coli and Salmonella to flourish. As mentioned previously, a senior’s weakened immune system could lead him or her to sickness and even hospitalization should these pathogens be present in the body.
Four out of five cases of Salmonella food poisoning in the United States are caused by the consumption of raw eggs. Most people do not eat raw eggs intentionally; many seniors may innocently taste a pinch of raw cookie dough or fail to cook eggs completely when served “over easy” or in Eggs Benedict.
Most soft cheeses that are sold in the country are made from pasteurized milk and are considered safe for consumption. Some imported varieties or those found at a farmers’ market may have been made from unpasteurized milk and may be unsafe for seniors to eat. Listeria is a bacteria that is often found in soft cheese that is made from raw milk and can cause a form of food poisoning known as Listeriosis.
Eating raw seafood products such as oysters and other shellfish can cause food borne illness in older adults. Vibrio vulnivicus is a disease caused by bacteria that is found in uncooked shellfish. If oysters, clams or mussels are to be consumed, they should be cooked until the shells open. Freezing kills bacteria that causes food poisoning from shellfish, so if oysters and clams have been frozen, they can be consumed raw after they thaw.
Are you concerned about your aging loved one’s ability to safely prepare food at home? Are they able to get fresh groceries from the local store? If you are worried about the nutrition of your loved one, consider help from Home Care Assistance of Santa Clarita. Our highly trained and compassionate caregivers provide live-in and hourly home care in Santa Clarita and can assist seniors with a wide range of activities from nutritious meal preparation and personal care to medication reminders and transportation. For more information, schedule a complimentary in-home consultation with a friendly Care Manager by calling 661-259-9914.