3 Vital Senior Food Safety Practices to Maintain

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3 Vital Senior Food Safety Practices to Maintain

senior food safety practices

Diet and nutrition are important topics for anyone, and especially so for seniors given the slightly higher risks they may face of certain health conditions. For seniors who consume food in any kind of public environment, whether it’s in an assisted living setting, a restaurant or any other, a key related topic that’s very important is proper food safety.

At Cozy Retire, diet and nutrition are themes we take very seriously for all guests of our assisted living communities. Not only do we attend to each individual guest’s specific dietary needs, we also maintain a robust program of food safety and handling for all our on-site food preparation staff. And because December is Worldwide Food Service Safety Month, we thought this would be a great time to highlight some of the key best practices that should be maintained at all times for any food establishment – and particularly those where seniors regularly dine.

Simple Hygiene

First and foremost, any person who is involved in preparation, serving or handling of food should maintain a high level of hygiene. This includes something as simple as washing hands regularly and thoroughly, especially if transitioning from one area to another in the food preparation environment.

Within an assisted living community, in particular, we require that our staff always wear gloves when handling food. We also have strict policies and procedures in place for changing those gloves whenever needed, such as after cleaning tables, countertops or other surfaces.

No Cross Contamination

Within any food environment, cross contamination is an ever-present danger. To keep the risk of food-borne illnesses to a minimum, we advise that all surfaces, utensils and cookware should be kept separate for different types of food items. For instance, if preparing raw poultry at one station, it’s essential that any cutting boards or knives used in that area should be washed and sanitized before moving to another station.

Similarly, any food item that’s been cooked at high temperatures must always be kept separate from anything raw – both when preparing the food items and when serving them.

Clean Workspace

On a regular basis, all surfaces, utensils and cookware should be cleaned and sanitized. This includes all cooking equipment, countertops, cutting boards, refrigerators, freezers, sinks and other areas where food may come into contact with potentially dangerous bacteria.

It’s vital to keep an eye on cleaning even if no specific food items are being prepared, as food residue and other potential contaminants can linger if not properly addressed.

At Cozy Retire, we work hard to ensure that our assisted living communities maintain the highest standards of food safety hygiene. We also encourage all seniors – even those who don’t live with us – to be aware of these practices so that they can be sure that wherever they dine, the food is being handled with care. Check back for part two of our series next month, where we’ll go over some additional steps that food establishments take in terms of food safety and sanitation, and why these are important for seniors in particular.