Food Safety June 2004
Mature Princeton Directors Message
Many things have changed during your lifetime about the foods we eat and how we store and prepare them. Much more is known about the bacteria in food and the illnesses they cause. Food-borne illness symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea or flu-like symptoms.
Older adults are at greater risk of food-borne illness because immune systems weaken and stomach acid (which reduces bacteria) decreases with age. Some illnesses and medical treatments can also increase vulnerability.
There are four basic rules for improving food safety at home: clean, separate, cook and chill.
- Clean: wash hands and surfaces often. Wash hands, surfaces and tools with hot soapy water before and after handling food, touching pets or using the bathroom. Use a sanitizer like bleach in water periodically. When cutting boards get worn, replace them. Use paper towels to clean kitchen surfaces or wash cloth often in hot water.
- Separate: Keep raw meat, poultry and seafood from other foods in your grocery cart and in your fridge. Use different cutting boards for raw meat. Wash hands, cutting boards and utensils with hot soapy water after contact with raw meats, eggs, unwashed vegetables. Do not use the same plate for cooked and raw meats/poultry/fish.
- Cook: Cook to proper temperatures. Use a clean food thermometer. Cook meats to recommended internal temperatures. Cook eggs until firm and fish until opaque and flaky. When cooking in a microwave, make sure there are no cold spots remaining. Reheat leftovers to 165o.
- Chill: Set freezer at 0o and fridge at 40o. Refrigerate foods quickly because bacteria can double every 20 minutes at room temperature. Divide leftovers into small portions for quick cooling, and refrigerate/freeze within two hours. To thaw, leave in refrigerator, immerse in cold water or use microwave; do not leave out. Don’t pack fridge too full, let air circulate. More details on recommended meat temperatures and food storage times can be found at www.foodsafety.gov.
Seniors are not advised to eat raw fish and shellfish, raw milk products, soft cheeses (Brie, feta, blue-veined), raw or lightly cooked egg products, raw meat or poultry, raw sprouts, unpasteurized fruit or vegetable juices.
Ready-to-eat foods: It is recommended that you reheat until steaming food such as: hot dogs, lunch meats/cold cuts, fermented/dry sausage. Wash hands and utensils after preparing these foods.
Food prepared elsewhere and brought home: Do not eat any perishable food that has been left at room temperature more than two hours (1 hour if the temperature is over 90oF). If not eating within the two hours, put in oven and keep food temp at or above 140o. Cold foods should be eaten within two hours or refrigerated.
Eating out: Look for these same 4 food safety rules when you go out. If you bring home a doggie bag, make sure it gets into the fridge within two hours. Do not leave food in a warm car. Remember, bacteria thrives between 40o and 140oF.
From the “Fight BAC!” literature distributed by the USDA and USFDA Partnership for Food Safety Education, www.fightbac.org
Tips from AARP to reduce annoying mail:
- Call (888) 567-8688 to remove your name from lists sold to credit card companies by consumer reporting firms like Equifax and Experian.
- Stop solicitations from Direct marketing Association member companies for $5 at www.dmaconsumers.org/egi/offmailinglist, or free from Direct marketing Association, Mail Preference Service, P.O. Box 643, Carmel, NY 10512.
- Remove yourself from mortgage refinancing and home equity loan offers by calling Acxiom US Consumer Hotline at (877)774-2094.
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Lessons and Legacies, March 2011
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Witness to my Life December 2010
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Retire in 3D!
Am I Old?
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Encore Careers January 2010
Hiring Home Care
Annual Giving by
Flu Pandemic 2009 October 2009
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My Condolences January 2008
What Are Social Services? November 2007
Plan for the Future September 2007
The Up-side of Aging Summer 2007
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Strategic Plan May 2007
National Conference on Aging: Let's ReThink Aging April 2007
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New Dietary Guidelines February 2005
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Civic Engagement with GrandPals October 2004
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Food Safety June 2004
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