Senior Care: How to Prevent Foodborne Illness

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Foodborne illness can have serious consequences for seniors. It can cause severe vomiting, diarrhea, and dehydration. Older adults are also likely to remain sick longer, possibly needing hospitalization. As a leading provider of senior care in Toronto, it’s extremely important that older adults and those who care for them are aware of which foods should be avoided to prevent foodborne illness. A little bit of knowledge can go a long way in protecting and preserving health and longevity.

The following are a few foods commonly recognized as healthy for seniors, however should be prepared with extra caution or avoided entirely to prevent foodborne illness or sickness.

  • Eggs – Although rich in protein, eggs can cause salmonella poisoning. Contamination can occur during incubation, before shells develop. This is why seniors should not eat eggs if they are raw or undercooked. If you your aging loved one with meal preparation, make sure that all eggs are cooked until the yolks and whites are firm.
  • Green Leafy Vegetables – Vegetables such as lettuce, spinach and arugula frequently harbour bacteria if they’ve been in contact with contaminated water or animal products, or handled improperly during processing. These types of leafy greens need to be thoroughly washed before being consumed.
  • Tomatoes – Traces of bacteria, dirt, and pesticides lodged in crevices can cause illness. Again, careful washing is important, to ensure that seniors and older adults are safe from any harmful bacteria.
  • Soft Cheeses – Brie, blue-veined varieties, Camembert, and Mexican-style queso fresco are examples of soft cheeses that can carry listeria bacteria, a germ that primarily affects older adults and those with weakened immune systems.
  • Raw Sprouts – Alfalfa, mung bean, lentil, radish, broccoli, and clover – these can be suffused with salmonella, according to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention and in raw form, should be avoided by seniors and older adults.

Interested in learning more about senior nutrition? Reach out to Home Care Assistance of Toronto today. Our professional and highly trained caregivers are available to provide hourly and live-in care for Toronto seniors and can assist with a wide variety of activities of daily living such as meal preparation, light housekeeping, medication reminders, transportation and more.

To learn more about in-home senior care in Toronto and Etobicoke, please reach out to a friendly and knowledgeable Care Manager at 416-488-8777.

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