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To Your Health!

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  1. To Your Health! Food Safety for Seniors

  2. This presentation will cover… • Why some people face special risks • Microorganisms of concern • How to minimize risk of foodborne illness

  3. Estimates of Foodborne Illness in the U.S. each Year: 76 million peoplebecome ill 5,000 people die

  4. Some People Face Special Risks • A variety of people may face these special risks: • Pregnant women • Very young children • People with chronic illnesses or weakened immune systems • Older adults

  5. Why Older Adults? • Immune systems weaken with age • Stomach acid decreases as you get older • Diseases/illnesses may further weaken the body

  6. Recognizing Foodborne Illness • Can’t see, smell or taste bacteria in food • Often takes 1 to 3 days to cause illness, but can take up to 6 weeks

  7. Recognizing Foodborne Illness • If you become ill after eating out, call your local health department so they can investigate. • By following the basic rules of food safety, you can help prevent foodborne illness for yourself and others.

  8. 3 Pathogens of Special Importance to Older Adults • Escherichia coli O157:H7 • Salmonella • Listeria monocytogenes

  9. E. coli • Lives in intestines of healthy cattle and other ruminant animals. • Typical food sources: • Undercooked ground meats, • Contaminated produce served raw (lettuce, spinach, sprouts), • Unpasteurized milk

  10. Salmonella • Salmonella outbreaks have been associated with: • Raw and undercooked eggs • Undercooked poultry and meat • Raw milk • Produce and unpasteurized juice • Why eggs? • Salmonella can grow both inside the egg and on the outside of shells

  11. Listeria • Bacteria widespread in nature, soil, water • Survives and grows at refrigerator temperatures! • Risky Foods: Refrigerated Ready-to-Eat foods (i.e. deli salads, lunch meats, hot dogs, soft cheeses made with raw milk)

  12. Almost all cases: elderly, pregnant women and immune-compromised persons Mild gastrointestinal symptoms: 8-48 hrs Invasive illness: 2-6 weeks following exposure Fever, muscle aches, headache, loss of balance, bacteremia, meningitis, encephalitis 20-30% death rate Listeria

  13. Food Safety at Home • Follow four basic rules: • Clean • Separate • Cook • Chill • Avoid high risk foods

  14. Food Safety at Home CLEAN • Wash your hands frequently! • Wash cutting boards, dishes, utensils, and counter tops with warm soapy water after preparing each food and before going to next one. • For added protection, spray counter tops and cutting boards with kitchen sanitizer (1 tsp bleach to 1 quart water)

  15. Clean Fresh Produce • Rinse raw produce in clean running water. • Scrub rinds of melons under running water before cutting.

  16. Change Dish Cloths/Towels Often Wet or damp dishcloths and sponges are ideal places for bacterial growth. • Use paper towels or disposable cloths to clean up kitchen surfaces after working with raw meat, fish or poultry. • Wash dish cloths regularly. • Avoid sponges, if possible or sanitize often.

  17. Food Safety at Home SEPARATE • Separate raw meat, poultry and seafood from other foods in your grocery shopping cart and your refrigerator. • If possible, use different cutting boards for raw meats and ready-to-each foods. • Place cooked food on a clean plate.

  18. Food Safety at Home COOK • Use a clean food thermometer to make sure meat, poultry, casseroles and other foods are properly cooked all the way through. • Cook roasts and steaks to at least 145° F and poultry to at least 165° F.

  19. Food Safety at Home COOK • Cook ground beef to at least 160°F. • Cook eggs until yolk and white are firm. • Fish should be opaque and flake easily with a fork.

  20. Food Safety at Home COOK • When cooking in a microwave oven, stir or rotate to make sure there are no cold spots where bacteria can survive. • Reheat leftovers to 165° F. Bring sauces, soups and gravy to a boil.

  21. Food Safety at Home CHILL • Refrigerate or freeze perishables, prepared food and leftovers within 2 hours. • Divide large amounts of leftovers into shallow containers for quick cooling in the refrigerator. • Use a thermometer to make sure refrigerator is 35-40°F.

  22. Food Safety at Home CHILL • Never thaw foods at room temperature. • Marinate foods in the refrigerator. • Don’t pack the refrigerator too full. Cold air must circulate to keep food safe.

  23. Special Foods/Special Advice Foods seniors advised NOT to eat: • Soft cheeses, such as feta, Brie, Camembert, blue-veined, and Mexican-style cheese, if made with unpasteurized milk • Raw or unpasteurized milk • Why? Common source of Listeria

  24. Special Foods/Special Advice Foods seniors advised NOT to eat: • Raw fin fish and shellfish, including oysters, clams, mussels, and scallops. (Vibrio & other pathogens) • Raw or lightly cooked egg or egg products, including salad dressings, cookie or cake batter, sauces, and beveragessuch as egg nog.(Salmonella)

  25. Special Foods/Special Advice Foods seniors advised NOT to eat: • Raw meat or poultry • Raw sprouts • Unpasteurized or untreated fruit or vegetable juice • Why? E. coli and Salmonella

  26. Special Foods/Special Advice Foods seniors advised NOT to eat: • Refrigerated pates, meat spreads or cold smoked fish, unless reheated. • Hot dogs and luncheon meats, unless reheated. • Why? Potential source of Listeria

  27. Special Foods/Special Advice Why Reheat Ready-to-eat (RTE) Meat, Poultry and Fish Products? • Easily contaminated with Listeria post processing in packing plant, deli or home. • Listeria, if present, grows during refrigerated storage. • Re-heating to steaming hot (165°F) destroys any Listeria that may be present.

  28. Other Tips for Enhancing Safety of RTE Meat and Poultry Products • Select products made with additives that slow the growth of Listeria. Look for sodium or potassium lactate,andsodium orpotassium diacetatein the ingredient list. • Observe “Use-by” dates for unopened packages. • Once opened, use or freeze hot dogs within 1 week; deli and luncheon meats within3 to 4 days.

  29. Remember: When in doubt...

  30. Toss it out!

  31. For more information… • The FDA Hotline - 1-888-SAFEFOOD (723-3366) • The USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline – 1-800-535-4555 • Colorado SafeFood website:

  32. Questions? Funding for this project provided in part through USDA’s National Integrated Food Safety Initiative, Grant# 2004-51110-02160. Slides adapted from “To Your Health,” developed by U.S. Food and Drug Administration; Baltimore District-Public Affairs Staff

  33. Food Safety Bingo • Which population group is at increased risk for infection with Listeria? (Older adults) • What type of food should be stored above raw foods? (Ready-to-eat) • What is the first thing that you should do to a cutting board after using it for raw meats? (Wash) • What should you do to a cutting board after it is washed in soapy water and rinsed thoroughly? (Sanitize)

  34. Food Safety Bingo • Name a food that has been associated with outbreaks of listeriosis: (Soft raw milk cheese) • After washing a surface, always do this. (Rinse) • To what temperature should hamburger be cooked? (160˚F) • Length of time it’s safe to keep opened packages of deli meats in the refrigerator? (3-5 days) • Listeria is easily destroyed by what factor? (Heat)

  35. Food Safety Bingo • What temperature should your freezer be? (0˚F) • Your refrigerator should be no warmer than ___˚F. (40˚F) • How long can perishable foods be safely held on the countertop? (2 hours, total) • What type of a container should you use to cool hot foods? (Shallow) • What should you use to check the temperature of your refrigerator? (refrigerator thermometer)

  36. Food Safety Bingo • Where should you put a thermometer in your refrigerator? (In the front) • Where should you store raw meat when you are marinating it? (Inside refrigerator) • On which shelf of the refrigerator should you store raw meats? (Bottom) • Which bacteria can grow in the refrigerator? (Listeria) • What should you do when ice builds up inside your freezer? (Defrost)

  37. Food Safety Bingo • When the weather is hot, where are groceries safest from heat during the transport home? (Inside the car-not the trunk) • What should you use to wash your hands? (Soap) • If the outside temperature is 90˚F or above, how long can food sit at room temperature? (1 hour) • What is the minimal amount of time that you should wash your hands? (20 seconds) • Finish the sentence “Food Safety ___________.” (begins at home)