Food strategies for seniors in home care.

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The information given here is for informational purposes only and is not intended to act as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or nutritional guidance.

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Food Handling, Sanitation, and Food Storage:

Clean / Separate / Cook / Chill / Discard / Mistakes

The bacteria that cause illness live all over your kitchen—on your hands, on cutting boards, on knives and serving utensils, on pots and pans, on glasses and plates. You need to wash your hands and these surfaces the right way, to avoid spreading the bacteria.

Wash your hands often, before and after handling food, before and after eating. To wash hands properly, wet them with warm running water and soap them up. Rub your hands together to work up a lather. Wash the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails. Keep it up for at least 20 seconds, and then rinse and dry using a clean cloth or paper towel.

Wash all utensils and surfaces after each use. Do this with hot soapy water after you prepare each food item, before you go to the next. Dry with paper towels. If using cloth towels, wash them in hot water often. For major sanitation of surfaces, mix a tablespoon of unscented liquid chlorine bleach with a gallon of water, wash and carefully rinse.  

Wash fruits and vegetables even if you will be peeling them. Bacteria can spread from an unwashed peel to the edible portions of the peeled fruit or vegetable. Cut off soft and bruised portions of the produce. Do not use soap, but rinse the produce under cold running water, preferably using a fruit and vegetable scrubber, which you should sanitize often.

Do not wash raw meats, eggs and poultry, since this can actually help spread surface bacteria.