FOOD AND SENIOR CITIZENS
What's a Senior to Eat?
Nutritionists agree that a healthful diet includes a variety of foods. Food choices also can help reduce the risk for chronic diseases, such as heart disease, cancers, diabetes, stroke, and osteoporosis, that are the leading cause of death and disability among Americans. But for seniors, certain foods may pose a significant health hazard because of the level of bacteria present in the product's raw or uncooked state.
Seniors should avoid these products:
Raw fin fish and shellfish, including oysters, clams, mussels, and scallops.
Raw or unpasteurized milk or cheese.
Soft cheeses such as feta, Brie, Camembert, blue-veined, and Mexican-style cheese. (Hard cheeses, processed cheeses, cream cheese, cottage cheese, or yogurt need not be avoided.)
Raw or lightly cooked egg or egg products including salad dressings, cookie or cake batter, sauces, and beverages such as egg nog.
Raw meat or poultry.
Raw alfalfa sprouts which have only recently emerged as a recognized source of foodborne illness.
Unpasteurized or untreated fruit or vegetable juice. When fruits and vegetables are made into fresh-squeezed juice, harmful bacteria that may be present can become part of the finished product. Most juice in the United States, 98 percent, is pasteurized or otherwise treated to kill harmful bacteria. To help consumers identify unpasteurized or untreated juices, the Food and Drug Administration is requiring a warning label on these products.
The label says:
This product has not been pasteurized and therefore may contain harmful bacteria that can cause serious illness in children, the elderly, and persons with weakened immune systems.
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