During National Food Safety Education Month, it’s a good time to look at food safety in your parents’ home. The CDC estimates that 48 million people become ill each year due to foodborne illnesses and infections. Of that number, 128,000 end up in the hospital. With proper kitchen safety, your parents reduce their risk.

Wash Vegetables and Fruits Before Eating Them

Wash your produce before you eat it. As bacteria can be on fresh produce, you should always wash it before you eat. Warm water, vinegar, and a scrub brush are essential items to have for this task.

Cooking fruits and vegetables helps kill some bacteria. Spinach is often linked to bacterial infections. Cooking spinach might be a healthier choice for your parents than raw spinach salads.

Cook and Store Foods Properly

Refrigerated foods need to be refrigerated at all times. If your mom or dad forgets to put the milk away and it’s not discovered for hours, it’s best to dispose of it. Meats that come out of a freezer should be thawed in the fridge.

Use a refrigerator thermometer to verify that the fridge is chilling properly at no more than 40F. The freezer should be at 0 F.

When cooking meats, make sure they reach the proper temperature. Pork, lamb, veal, fish, and beef steaks need to be over 145 F or 160 F for ground versions. Chicken, turkey, and other types of poultry need to be 165 F. Egg dishes should be at 160 F.

Wipe Kitchen Surfaces Daily

All kitchen surfaces need to be sterilized daily. A cleaner with antibacterial agents is good. Bleach and water are also useful. Refrigerator handles, light switches, counters, faucet handles, and oven controls/handles are all items to wipe down.

If you use a cutting board, soak it in soapy water and scrub it for 20 seconds before rinsing. Dishes you use for cooking also need to be washed properly and dried with a fresh towel. Wash dish towels at the end of the day. Bacterial will grow if you use the same towel day after day.

Pay Attention to Food Warnings and Recalls

Get into the habit of reading food recalls and warnings. If your parents have any of the items in their cabinets or fridge, they should return them to the store for a refund.

Elderly care aides can help with food preparation and storage if you don’t live close enough to help. Your parents have the help they need in order to stay independent. Call an elderly care agency to arrange food preparation and grocery services.


If you are considering elderly care in River Oaks, TX, for an aging loved one, please call the caring staff at At Your Side Home Care. We will answer all of your senior care questions. Call today: (832) 271-1600.