The Best Food Safety Tips for Seniors

food safety tips for seniorsThe way that food is distributed and processed has changed throughout the years. There was a period of time where food was grown close to where people resided and they shopped for groceries on a daily basis. Food was not stored for months at a time; it was purchased, prepared and eaten within a day or two. Restaurant eating was reserved only for special occasions. These days, the food in the grocery stores comes from locations all over the world. This has led to the importance of food safety tips for seniors.

Another thing that is different is society’s knowledge and awareness of the many illnesses that are caused by bacteria that is in the food. However, through science, the public is now aware of bacteria in food that it did not know existed decades ago.

We have also discovered that seniors over the age of 65 are more susceptible to foodborne illnesses. However, seniors who know how to properly care for their food can stay healthy.


One of the simplest ways to prevent from becoming sick is to wash your hands often. Always wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds before you handle food and after handling food.


Always make sure that food is cooked to proper temperature. Use a thermometer to measure the internal temperature of food, especially meat.

Ground meat should have an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit, poultry should be 165 degrees Fahrenheit and steaks should be 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Foods that are cooked in a microwave should be cooked completely, be hot and bubbling throughout.

Do Not Cross Contaminate

Keep fruits and vegetables and ready to eat food separate from raw meat in both your shopping cart and your refrigerator.

Prepared Meals

There are times when it is easier to allow someone to prepare a meal for you. However, prepared meals are considered perishable. They can cause illness if they are not handled properly.

Hot foods should be kept hot or eaten within two to three hours. If they are not, refrigerate and reheat completely through before eating.

Cold foods must be eaten within three hours or immediately refrigerated or frozen until ready to use.

These food safety tips for seniors can help the elderly avoid becoming sick by learning how to handle food correctly. Always remember, when in doubt it is best to throw it out.

Do you or your loved one need assistance with meal preparation, grocery shopping or other services? Contact us today for a free in-home assessment.