As people age, their immune system begins to weaken, and that means that they have developed an increased susceptibility to food-borne illnesses caused by bacteria. Scientists are also learning more about food safety every day and have been discovering new bacteria every day. If you are employed in the capacity of caregiver, at places such as Harbor Lights House Assisted Living Inc, to a senior citizen or care for an elderly loved one in your home, there are certain foods that seniors shouldn't eat. Here are five of the major food types that you shouldn't serve your senior:
Unpasteurized Dairy Products
Raw dairy products are somewhat of a fad among the health-food crowd, but these products often contain bacteria that can be harmful to anyone who doesn't have a strong, healthy immune system.
Refrigerated Smoked Salmon
Smoked salmon packets that are not marked as shelf-stable require refrigeration because the fish was cold-smoked. The cold-smoking process does not involve temperatures that are high enough to kill harmful bacteria. However, if your senior is craving smoked salmon, you can use it in stews, soaps, or heat it up and serve it over pasta.
Unpasteurized Fruit or Vegetable Juice
Because fresh produce may easily become contaminated during the harvesting period or even may contain soil-borne bacteria, unpasteurized fruits and vegetables juices also pose a health risk to seniors and others who don't have cast iron immune systems. If you are going to prepare freshly-squeezed juices for your senior at home, make certain that you keep the fruits and vegetables that you are going to use completely separate from any other foods in the refrigerator.
Food Items Containing Raw Eggs
Salad dressings, cake batter, cookies dough, homemade mayonnaise and any other food items made with raw eggs should be avoided in the senior diet. Salmonella is a particular threat faced by those who consume raw or undercooked eggs.
Raw oysters can be delicious, but they can also be full of bacteria. If your senior is craving oysters, you should bread them and fry them in a hot pan. One of the particular risks associated with eating raw eggs is exposure to Vibrio vulnificus bacteria. This bacteria occurs naturally in ocean waters and is especially prolific in bays and other close-to-shore areas where oysters are found. Raw oysters have also been found to cause norovirus, which is a painful and potentially dangerous condition that affects the digestive system. Experts declare that there is no way to tell the difference between a raw oyster that's safe to eat and one that isn't, so it's best for your senior to steer clear of them altogether.