Foodborne Illness and Kitchen Safety
At the end of the class, you will be able to:
1. Shop for, store and handle foods in a safe way.
2. Prevent food illnesses and kitchen accidents.
Many nursing assistants and home health aides shop for patients. Many also cook for patients. It is important for all of these health care people to know about kitchen and food safety. This class will help you to learn about this role.
A Safe Kitchen
Kitchens and bathrooms are probably the most dangerous rooms in a house. Many people fall in bathrooms because the floors are often wet. Some of the other things that happen in kitchens are:
Some of the things that you should do in the kitchen to keep it safe are:
A mop and a reaching tool should be used by people that use a wheelchair and others that can not bend over. This will help them to clean up spills and to pick up things that have dropped on the floor.
WHAT IS THE
Be careful when you buy foods.
Cans and glass jars that are not in good shape may have dangerous germs that can make you sick. Do NOT buy them.
When you are shopping, pick out cold, cooked and frozen things last. Shop for things that have to be hot or cold LAST. For example, pick out paper items, cans, and cleaning things FIRST. Then get milk, eggs, ice cream and meat right before you are ready to check out of the store.
Keep all the meat, chicken and fish away from the other things in your cart. Make sure that the store person packs these things in different bags. Do NOT let them put fish with paper plates and things like that. Put fruits and other fresh things in plastic bags in order to keep them clean, safe and away from meat and fish drips.
HOW SHOULD I STORE FOOD WHEN I GET HOME FROM THE STORE ?
Wash your hands very well for at least 30 seconds before and after you touch any food.
Cans must be kept in a cool and dry place. Do NOT keep any food cans for more than one year. Throw them out if they have not been used in one year.
Put cold and hot foods away right away after you get home from the store. Put them in the refrigerator or freezer within one (1) hour, especially if it is hot outside. Do not ride around in the car doing other things after you have bought food. Get it home and put away as soon as possible.
Wrap meat, chicken, fish and other items in freezer bags, wraps or foil before they go into the freezer. Label and date them all.
Keep the refrigerator clean and lean! Clean up all spills right away. Wash the inside of the refrigerator with warm soapy water and then rinse it off. You should also use a solution of 2 tablespoons of household bleach to 1 gallon of warm water. You can keep odors out with a small box of baking soda.
Keep the temperature of the refrigerator between 36 and 38 degrees.
Keep the door closed if it loses power as can happen with a bad storm. Cook and serve foods within a few hours if you cannot keep them cold. Throw them out if they do not stay cold.
Keep meat and fish away from other foods. Use plates, plastic bags, plastic or foil wrap or containers with covers to keep the juices and drips from meat and fish away from other foods.
The freezer door must also be kept closed if you lose power or it fails to work right. If the food cannot be kept cold, cook and serve the food within a few hours or throw it out.
Do NOT refreeze foods that have thawed out.
THE BEST AND
Many people get sick when food is not handled and kept in the right way. Sick people and the elderly are at even greater risk than others who are young and healthy.
Keep food safe by doing these things.
F - First
I - In
F - First
O - Out
If you are storing cooked stuffed foods, remove the stuffing from the food and store separately.
10. Do NOT leave eggs out in room air for more than 1 hour.
FRESH FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
Fresh fruits and vegetables are not a big problem in terms of illness, but you must still handle them in the right way.
1. Buy them and eat them only when they look fresh
2. Buy them and use them only when they do not have any odor
3. Buy them and use them only when that do not have a bruise
4. Buy them and use them only when they have no mold or slime
5. Buy only what you need. Do NOT stock up on these fresh foods
6. Put them in the “crisper” part of the refrigerator where the moisture is a little higher than other places
7. Keep all cut fruits and vegetables covered
8. Wash all fruits and vegetables in clean drinking water just before eating them. Do this even when you do not eat the outside of the fruit, like an orange.
9. If you eat the skins of thinks like a potato or carrot, scrub them very well.
10.Wash your hands and the knife or peeler before and after touching fresh fruit and vegetables.
TELL ME ABOUT FOOD ILLNESSES
about 24 to 81 million people in the
Anyone can get sick from the bacteria, or germs, in food but some people are at greater risk than others for this illness.
The old, very young children, pregnant women and people with a weak immune system get more food diseases than others. People with AIDS, cancer, and some medicines are also at risk.
There are many different food illnesses that result from a lot of different germs that are found in food.
You must follow all of the rules above plus these things in order to prevent food illnesses.
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF FOOD ILLNESS ?
The signs of food illness are:
These things can start within a few hours after eating the food or they can begin one full day after eating the food. Many people think that they just got an “upset stomach”. They may not think that they are sick from the food.
If you think that you, or your patient, might have a food illness contact the doctor right away because it could be very serious, especially if the person is weak and has another problem, like AIDS/HIV. It can lead to big problems and even death.
You should also do these things.
People with physical problems, ill people and older people often need help in the kitchen with their meals. They may also need help with shopping for food and food storage. Everyone needs a complete and good diet. Many people also need a special diet. Special diets often take more time and energy than regular diets. Old people and sick people may not have the strength and physical ability to take care of their meals.
When people get old they:
Food poison and food illness can make a young and healthy person “sick” for a few days. The same illness can make the older person and the ill person very sick for a long time. Some die from it.
Poor sight is a big problem when it comes to food safety. A person may not be able to keep the kitchen clean because they can’t see how dirty it is. It may stop the person from seeing the signs of bad food, mold and dirt.
When a person can not hear well, they may not be able to hear a timer ring off. They may not hear that the pot is boiling over. This can lead to fires and burns.
Also, a person may not know that things are burning or that the food smells rotten if they do not have a good sense of smell.
Also, some people do not think as well as others. When they are cooking they may forget that they have something on the stove. It is very important that everyone is alert and safe in the kitchen.
Microwave ovens are a great new tool. They are very nice and they let us cook and heat things up very quickly but they can cause injury, like burns and food illness. They can be a great place for food germs to live, grow and spread if they are not kept clean.
Do these things.
Food illness can be prevented. Wash your hands before and after touching any food. Store foods in the right way. Cook meals in a safe manner. Keep the kitchen and food area clean and tidy.
Acheson, David W. K. MD and Robin Levinson (1998). Safe Eating. Dell Publishing Company.
United States Department of Health and Human Services. (2010). “Food Safety”. [online]. http://www.foodsafety.gov
Copyright © 2010 Alene Burke
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