What are employees’ holistic needs? We can break these down into three health categories: physical, social and mental. Physically, people need healthy food, sufficient sleep and exercise.
Rachelle Williams, Food Safety Information Council Chair, said, “The elderly are more susceptible to food contamination. If they suffer food poisoning, it can have severe consequences.
“Older people should be able to safely enjoy food prepared by family and friends. A family favourite, or culturally specific dish, one that may not be readily available in their aged care facility, are always a welcome treat.
“To keep the residents safe we must use extra care when preparing and transporting this food. The Food Safety advice in our brochure is useful not only for preparing meals for aged care residents but for any elderly friend, neighbour or relative.
“Of course, you must always check with the aged care facility about taking food in as their rules will vary. Remember that you will be responsible for the safety of the food. Always let the staff know if you have bought food or left some in the resident’s room.
These simple food safety tips can be used as a guide:
Keep in mind that some foods are considered too risky for elderly people to eat. Foods containing raw egg such as eggnog, home-made egg mayonnaise, aioli, hollandaise sauce or uncooked desserts like tiramisu shouldn’t be provided from home to aged care residents.
Nor should they eat high-risk foods that could be contaminated with Listeria, a potentially fatal food poisoning bacteria.
These include cold sliced meats, cold cooked chicken; paté, liverwurst or meat spreads; pre-prepared fruit and vegetable salads from salad bars; soft cheeses like brie or camembert; and cheeses made from raw/unpasteurised milk.
With a little careful planning, your loved ones can enjoy your home cooked fare safely, and without worry.