It is estimated that 5-10% of the elderly population is faced with food allergies – but that the prevalence is underestimated and undertreated in seniors. Reactions from a food allergy can be very serious, and contact with even trace amounts of offensive foods can be life-threatening.
A total of about 4 million (1 in 8) Canadians are affected by a food-borne illness. Of these, there are about: 11,600 hospitalizations and 238 deaths. Canada’s seniors need to be aware of the risks of foodborne illnesses, understand these infection warning signs, and take these steps for preventing senior infection from foodborne illness.
Food safety for seniors: each year about about 13 million Canadians become ill from eating foods contaminated by bacteria, viruses or parasites, Health Canada reports. However, safe food handling, preparation and storage practices can greatly decrease the risks of food-borne illness. These practices are particularly important for seniors.
Food poisoning is especially detrimental to seniors, causing them to be sicker longer with more acute symptoms. As people age, their immune systems slow down and are not as effective in combating illnesses. For these reasons, it is critical that seniors and their caretakers are able to immediately identify the symptoms of food poisoning and seek proper medical care and treatment. It is equally important, or more so, that they follow safe food preparation and handling methods.