One of the things that can be a big hazard for your senior is food poisoning. It’s definitely uncomfortable, but more importantly, it’s avoidable.
Keep Raw Foods and Meats Away from Other Foods
Raw foods, particularly meats, can very easily contaminate other foods. Keeping raw foods away from leftovers and from fresh fruits and vegetables is crucial. In the fridge, keep raw foods on the lowest shelf. This ensures that even if they leak, they don’t leak onto other foods through the shelves.
Wash Utensils and Knives Well
All of the various utensils that your senior uses in the kitchen can hold onto bacteria that can later turn into food poisoning if she’s not careful. If the utensils are dishwasher-safe and your senior has one, then it’s a good idea to run them through the dishwasher. Otherwise, make sure you clean them well in hot, soapy water.
Be Sure to Wash Vegetables and Fruits Well
Vegetables and fruits can be another source of contamination, believe it or not. They go through a lot on their way to the grocery store, and then they encounter more germs at the grocery store, too. Depending on the types of fruits and vegetables, make sure they’re properly cleaned as well as possible to avoid germs. This is important even with things like melons that your senior doesn’t eat the outside of, because cutting through the rind can carry bacteria to the flesh of the melon.
Temperatures Matter a Lot
Temperature recommendations matter quite a lot when it comes to food safety. For starters, your senior’s fridge and freezer need to be cold enough to safely store foods. If you’re not sure whether they’re set to the right temperature, use a fridge thermometer to check. Also, using a meat thermometer is a really good idea to make sure that meats are properly cooked.
Thaw Foods in the Fridge
Lots of people have a habit of thawing frozen foods on the counter or in the sink. It’s a much better idea to thaw frozen foods slowly in the fridge to keep them from becoming contaminated by bacteria. Put the frozen food on a plate and leave it on the bottom shelf of the fridge until thawed.
Get Rid of Old Leftovers Regularly
Leftovers are great until they aren’t. These meal remains can quickly grow bacteria on them, so it’s a good idea to remove them after a day or two. If your senior is determined to keep a particular dish longer, consider freezing it.
Keeping your senior safe involves all sorts of levels of safety checks. As her caregiver, that means you’re often working through multiple types of safety checks on a regular basis.