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5 Foods Seniors Should Steer Clear Of

By August 4, 2015Archives

Sometimes seniors don’t seem to have much of an appetite. Others feel they can throw caution to the wind and eat anything they want. As Julia Child said, “You can eat anything as long as you eat it in moderation.” We will change that a bit to say, “You can eat most things as long as you eat them in moderation!” Here are five foods that seniors should not eat because of the risks they pose to health and well-being!

Raw Eggs. This is perhaps the most important food seniors should avoid. Raw eggs are the leading cause of Salmonella foodborne illness in the U.S. today. The USDA estimates that annually 2.3 million eggs are contaminated with Salmonella enteritidis. Boil them, fry them, or poach them, but do not let your senior eat eggs raw.

Raw Fish, Oysters, Clams, and Mussels. This is another instance where “raw” means dangerous. Raw fish may contain mercury and a bacteria called Listeria. Listeria is dangerous for those who may have compromised immune systems, such as the elderly. Fish can be sauteed, baked or made into a cioppino, but don’t eat it raw. If the senior you care for enjoys sushi, steer them away from it and tempt them with cooked delicacies that can’t compromise their health.

Unpasteurized Milk. Unpasteurized milk is considered “raw” milk. (Do we see a “raw” trend here?). The Centers for Disease Control report that unpasteurized milk is 150 times more likely to cause foodborne illness than pasteurized milk. Drinking raw milk results in 13 times more hospitalizations than illnesses involving pasteurized dairy products. Raw milk can also carry Salmonella, E.coli, and Listeria. In some corners, unpasteurized milk is considered healthy milk but it isn’t for seniors. Pasteurization is the way to go because it processes out any bacteria before they can harm your elderly loved one.

Brie, Camembert, and Blue-Veined Cheeses. There is nothing wrong with being a cheese lover, just try to avoid the soft cheeses! They can carry a host of bacteria that can be harmful if eaten by a person with a compromised immune system. These cheeses are unpasteurized and can carry the dangerous bacteria Listeria that can cause illness. When the symptoms are identified Listeria can be quickly treated with antibiotics but left untreated, it can cause meningitis and other life-threatening illnesses.

Rare hamburger, Carpaccio, and Steak Tartare. Well that settles it; if the food is raw, don’t let your elderly loved one eat it! Raw hamburger or beef of any kind can carry illness causing bacteria including Salmonella, E.coli, Listeria, and Staphylococcus aureus. Grill it, bake it, stew it, or create a fabulous Beef Wellington, but do not let your senior eat raw beef of any kind.

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