Preparing Food Safely
Proper food safety is one of the most important aspects of cooking. This is especially true if your senior has any health issues that cause her to have a compromised immune system at all. These are the big points to look for in terms of food safety for your senior.
Careful Thawing Is Important
Your senior might think there’s nothing wrong with thawing frozen foods on the counter, but that can be incredibly dangerous. It takes a while to thaw food that way and in the meantime, bacteria can take hold and rapidly multiply. A much better way to thaw foods is in the refrigerator overnight. If that’s not possible, using the thaw setting in the microwave is the next best option.
Washing Hands Keeps Germs from Spreading
Cross contamination is a huge problem in kitchens everywhere. Thawing food safely helps to avoid that problem, but hand washing is another helpful preventative. Warm water and plain soap are all your senior needs, but she should be washing her hands frequently in between steps. Any time she handles raw meat, she should wash her hands before handling anything else.
Temperature Charts Are Helpful
Foods need to cook to a specific temperature, especially meats. There are lots of reasons for that, and only some of them have to do with flavor or making sure that the food is aesthetically pleasing. The vast majority of the reason to cook foods to the right temperature involves keeping the people who eat the food as safe as possible. Using digital thermometers that your senior simply has to aim at the food can make the task a lot easier.
Leftovers Can’t Sit Out
Your senior might feel as if after the food is cooked, she’s home free. But leftovers need to be handled properly, too, or they can also start to grow bacteria. Leftovers shouldn’t be left out longer than an hour. It’s alright for them to sit on the counter for a few minutes after cooking in order to cool enough to refrigerate, but leaving them out for over an hour is not a good idea at all.
Keeping up with food safety can start to feel like a lot for your elderly family member to manage on her own. If that’s becoming the case, it might be time for home care providers to take over with cooking meals for your elderly family member. You’ll know she’s safe and that she’s eating healthy, delicious foods.