Well Be­ing

Don’t make your food your poi­son

Health & Nutrition - - CONTENTS -

Food­borne in­fec­tions con­tinue to be an im­por­tant pub­lic health prob­lem. E. coli bac­te­ria are present in the in­testines of peo­ple and an­i­mals, and also are found in food and wa­ter. While some strains of the bac­te­ria are harm­less, oth­ers can cause food poi­son­ing, pneu­mo­nia, and uri­nary tract in­fec­tions. Older adults are at greater risk of food­borne ill­ness be­cause their im­mune sys­tem wanes with age, be­com­ing less ef­fi­cient at com­bat­ing bac­te­ria. They also are more likely to take drugs that can re­duce stom­ach acid, which is a nat­u­ral de­fense against any bac­te­ria we in­gest. Many older adults’ sense of taste or smell can be af­fected by ill-health and/ or med­i­ca­tions. The lat­ter means they may not re­al­ize food is spoiled. If an older adult con­tracts food poi­son­ing, he or she is more likely to have a length­ier ill­ness, un­dergo hos­pi­tal­iza­tion, or even die. This means it is vi­tal that you know and prac­tice safe-food be­hav­iours. You can best do this by fol­low­ing these four steps to food safety: 1Clean Thor­oughly wash your hands in warm, soapy wa­ter be­fore han­dling food, and wash cut­ting boards, uten­sils, and counter tops with hot soapy wa­ter if switch­ing be­tween pre­par­ing raw meat, poul­try and seafood, and un­cooked foods such as salad veg­eta­bles. You should also thor­oughly wash fruits and veg­eta­bles (even if they are la­beled as pre-washed), rub­bing the outer skin to en­sure that all dirt is re­moved (re­serve a scrub­bing brush for this pur­pose). If you in­tend peel­ing fruit be­fore eat­ing

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