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Careful in the Kitchen

By Jennifer Bradley, Staff Writer

(Page 4 of 5)

It can be easy to simply trust that the food served at a restaurant is suitable for consumption. Each person should learn to be their own advocate and a senior loved one is no exception. They may be experiencing an age-related dulling of the senses, minimizing their ability to recognize an unsafe situation. As at home, donít eat raw or undercooked food. Make sure hot meals are hot and if the food is not cooked properly, encourage a loved one to speak up and send it back. Itís better to be safe than worry about ďhurting someoneís feelings.Ē   

The trend in restaurants today is leaning toward large meal portions. Many seniors end up packing the leftovers to take home. The FDA advises that if the leftover food will not be refrigerated within two hours of leaving the restaurant, itís safer to leave it there. Some senior centers across the country wonít even allow food to be taken home because they know of the dangers when food is left sitting out too long.

Foods to Avoid

The FDA offers a list of foods seniors are advised to avoid:

  • Raw fin fish and shellfish, including oysters, clams, mussels, and scallops;
  • Hot dogs and luncheon meats, unless they are reheated until steaming hot;
  • Raw or unpasteurized milk or soft cheeses (such as Feta, Brie, Camembert, blue-veined, and Mexican-style cheese) unless they are labeled as made with pasteurized milk;
  • Refrigerated pates or meat spreads; (Canned or shelf-stable pates and meat spreads may be eaten.)
  • Refrigerated smoked seafood unless it is contained in a cooked dish, such as a casserole; (Canned or shelf-stable smoked seafood may be eaten.)
  • Raw or lightly cooked egg or egg products containing raw eggs such as salad dressings, cookie or cake batter, sauces, and beverages such as eggnog; (Foods made from commercially pasteurized eggs are safe to eat.)
  • Raw meat or poultry;

 

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