'Immunity Challenge' for Older Americans: Take Control of Home Food Safety

Apr 24, 2001, 01:00 ET from American Dietetic Association from ,ConAgra Foods, Inc.

    CHICAGO, April 24 /PRNewswire Interactive News Release/ -- As people age,
 their risk of developing foodborne illness increases.  Even a mild case of
 food poisoning can have serious effects for older adults, whose immune systems
 have a harder time fighting off bacteria.
     The good news is that older adults can do a lot to help protect themselves
 against foodborne illness.  For Older Americans' Month in May, the American
 Dietetic Association and ConAgra Foods offer tips that will help older adults
 -- and those who cook for them -- practice good food safety habits and stay
 healthy.
     "It's important for older adults to take special precautions when shopping
 for, handling, preparing and storing food since they are more vulnerable to
 foodborne illness," says registered dietitian and ADA spokesperson Jackie
 Berning.
     "Older adults should not eat meats, poultry, seafood and eggs that are raw
 or undercooked.  Also, unpasteurized dairy products like raw milk and some
 imported cheeses can pose safety threats to older adults."
     A recent national survey* by ADA and the ConAgra Foundation shows that
 seven out of 10 consumers are interested in learning more about safely
 preparing and handling foods for family and friends who are vulnerable to
 developing foodborne illness.  But more than one-third of Americans say they
 are unaware that they should take special precautions when cooking or grilling
 for older adults.
     "That means everyone, not just older adults, can help prevent food
 poisoning by taking control of food safety in their homes and by following
 basic food safety tips," Berning says.
 
     SIMPLE FOOD SAFETY TIPS:
      -- Wash Hands Often
         Proper hand washing may eliminate nearly half of all cases of
         foodborne illness and significantly reduce the spread of the common
         cold and flu.
          -- Wash hands in warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds before,
             during and after meal preparation.
          -- Don't forget to keep surfaces clean.  Keep shelves, counter tops,
             tables, refrigerators and freezers clean.
 
      -- Keep Raw Meats and Ready-to-Eat Foods Separate
         Prevent cross-contamination by keeping raw foods separate from
         ready-to-eat foods.
          -- Use two cuttings boards: one strictly for raw meat, poultry and
             seafood; the other for ready-to-eat foods like breads and
             vegetables.
          -- Wash cutting boards thoroughly in hot soapy water after each use
             or place in dishwasher.  Use a bleach solution (i.e., one
             tablespoon bleach in one quart water) or other sanitizing solution
             and rinse with clean water.
          -- Discard old cutting boards that have cracks, crevices and
             excessive knife scars.
 
      -- Cook to Proper Temperatures
         Harmful bacteria are destroyed when food is cooked to proper
         temperatures.  "Buy a meat thermometer and use it," Berning says.
         "This is the only reliable way to ensure safety and determine the
         doneness of cooked foods."
          -- Always use a meat thermometer to check the doneness of meat,
             poultry, seafood and dishes containing eggs.
          -- Reheat leftovers to at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.  Older adults
             should reheat all deli-style meats.
          -- Boil a meat marinade for several minutes if you plan to re-use it.
 
      -- Refrigerate Promptly Below 40 Degrees Fahrenheit
         Refrigerate foods quickly and at a proper temperature to slow the
         growth of bacteria and prevent foodborne illness.
          -- Use a refrigerator thermometer and check it regularly to ensure
             it's set below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
          -- Refrigerate all leftover foods from a meal within two hours.  When
             outdoors and the temperature is 90 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer,
             that time is reduced to one hour.
          -- Store foods in small, shallow containers (two inches deep or
             less).
          -- Use or discard opened packages of luncheon meats or spreads within
             three to five days.  Consume by the "use-by" date on the package.
          -- Thaw food in the refrigerator, under cold running water, or in the
             microwave right before cooking.
          -- Marinate foods in the refrigerator.
 
     FOOD SAFETY SOLUTIONS
     If you think you might have contracted a foodborne illness, contact your
 health care provider.  The consequences of foodborne illness can be serious
 for people who are especially vulnerable to foodborne bacteria.
     To learn more about preventing food poisoning, visit the ADA/ConAgra
 Foundation Web site at www.homefoodsafety.org or call ADA's Consumer Nutrition
 Information Line at 800-366-1655, where recorded messages (both in English and
 Spanish) are available 24 hours a day.
     The ADA/ConAgra Foundation initiative, Home Food Safety ... It's in Your
 Hands(TM), educates consumers that home food safety is a serious issue and
 provides solutions so Americans can easily and safely handle food in their own
 kitchens.  This program complements government-sponsored food safety
 initiatives that speak to the leading critical food-handling violations by
 emphasizing the following four key messages:  1) Wash hands often; 2) Keep raw
 meats and ready-to-eat foods separate; 3) Cook to proper temperatures; 4)
 Refrigerate promptly below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
     The 70,000-member American Dietetic Association is the largest
 organization of food and nutrition professionals in the nation.  With
 headquarters in Chicago, ADA serves the public by promoting optimal nutrition,
 health and well-being.
     ConAgra Foods, Inc. is one of the world's largest and most successful food
 companies.  ConAgra Foods is North America's largest foodservice manufacturer
 and second-largest retail food supplier.  This program is funded by the
 ConAgra Foundation, the philanthropic arm of ConAgra Foods, which works to
 improve the quality of life in communities across the U.S.
 
     *  Impulse Research Corporation conducted the home food safety survey in
        February 2001 for the American Dietetic Association and the ConAgra
        Foundation through an online survey of 1,594 men and women ages 18 and
        older, living in private households in the continental United States.
        The survey has a margin of error of + or - 2%.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X71591283
 
     CONTACT:  Lori Ferme of American Dietetic Association, 800-877-1600,
 ext. 4802, or Alison Baseley of Edelman Public Relations, 312-240-2848
 
 

SOURCE American Dietetic Association; ConAgra Foods, Inc.
    CHICAGO, April 24 /PRNewswire Interactive News Release/ -- As people age,
 their risk of developing foodborne illness increases.  Even a mild case of
 food poisoning can have serious effects for older adults, whose immune systems
 have a harder time fighting off bacteria.
     The good news is that older adults can do a lot to help protect themselves
 against foodborne illness.  For Older Americans' Month in May, the American
 Dietetic Association and ConAgra Foods offer tips that will help older adults
 -- and those who cook for them -- practice good food safety habits and stay
 healthy.
     "It's important for older adults to take special precautions when shopping
 for, handling, preparing and storing food since they are more vulnerable to
 foodborne illness," says registered dietitian and ADA spokesperson Jackie
 Berning.
     "Older adults should not eat meats, poultry, seafood and eggs that are raw
 or undercooked.  Also, unpasteurized dairy products like raw milk and some
 imported cheeses can pose safety threats to older adults."
     A recent national survey* by ADA and the ConAgra Foundation shows that
 seven out of 10 consumers are interested in learning more about safely
 preparing and handling foods for family and friends who are vulnerable to
 developing foodborne illness.  But more than one-third of Americans say they
 are unaware that they should take special precautions when cooking or grilling
 for older adults.
     "That means everyone, not just older adults, can help prevent food
 poisoning by taking control of food safety in their homes and by following
 basic food safety tips," Berning says.
 
     SIMPLE FOOD SAFETY TIPS:
      -- Wash Hands Often
         Proper hand washing may eliminate nearly half of all cases of
         foodborne illness and significantly reduce the spread of the common
         cold and flu.
          -- Wash hands in warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds before,
             during and after meal preparation.
          -- Don't forget to keep surfaces clean.  Keep shelves, counter tops,
             tables, refrigerators and freezers clean.
 
      -- Keep Raw Meats and Ready-to-Eat Foods Separate
         Prevent cross-contamination by keeping raw foods separate from
         ready-to-eat foods.
          -- Use two cuttings boards: one strictly for raw meat, poultry and
             seafood; the other for ready-to-eat foods like breads and
             vegetables.
          -- Wash cutting boards thoroughly in hot soapy water after each use
             or place in dishwasher.  Use a bleach solution (i.e., one
             tablespoon bleach in one quart water) or other sanitizing solution
             and rinse with clean water.
          -- Discard old cutting boards that have cracks, crevices and
             excessive knife scars.
 
      -- Cook to Proper Temperatures
         Harmful bacteria are destroyed when food is cooked to proper
         temperatures.  "Buy a meat thermometer and use it," Berning says.
         "This is the only reliable way to ensure safety and determine the
         doneness of cooked foods."
          -- Always use a meat thermometer to check the doneness of meat,
             poultry, seafood and dishes containing eggs.
          -- Reheat leftovers to at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.  Older adults
             should reheat all deli-style meats.
          -- Boil a meat marinade for several minutes if you plan to re-use it.
 
      -- Refrigerate Promptly Below 40 Degrees Fahrenheit
         Refrigerate foods quickly and at a proper temperature to slow the
         growth of bacteria and prevent foodborne illness.
          -- Use a refrigerator thermometer and check it regularly to ensure
             it's set below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
          -- Refrigerate all leftover foods from a meal within two hours.  When
             outdoors and the temperature is 90 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer,
             that time is reduced to one hour.
          -- Store foods in small, shallow containers (two inches deep or
             less).
          -- Use or discard opened packages of luncheon meats or spreads within
             three to five days.  Consume by the "use-by" date on the package.
          -- Thaw food in the refrigerator, under cold running water, or in the
             microwave right before cooking.
          -- Marinate foods in the refrigerator.
 
     FOOD SAFETY SOLUTIONS
     If you think you might have contracted a foodborne illness, contact your
 health care provider.  The consequences of foodborne illness can be serious
 for people who are especially vulnerable to foodborne bacteria.
     To learn more about preventing food poisoning, visit the ADA/ConAgra
 Foundation Web site at www.homefoodsafety.org or call ADA's Consumer Nutrition
 Information Line at 800-366-1655, where recorded messages (both in English and
 Spanish) are available 24 hours a day.
     The ADA/ConAgra Foundation initiative, Home Food Safety ... It's in Your
 Hands(TM), educates consumers that home food safety is a serious issue and
 provides solutions so Americans can easily and safely handle food in their own
 kitchens.  This program complements government-sponsored food safety
 initiatives that speak to the leading critical food-handling violations by
 emphasizing the following four key messages:  1) Wash hands often; 2) Keep raw
 meats and ready-to-eat foods separate; 3) Cook to proper temperatures; 4)
 Refrigerate promptly below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
     The 70,000-member American Dietetic Association is the largest
 organization of food and nutrition professionals in the nation.  With
 headquarters in Chicago, ADA serves the public by promoting optimal nutrition,
 health and well-being.
     ConAgra Foods, Inc. is one of the world's largest and most successful food
 companies.  ConAgra Foods is North America's largest foodservice manufacturer
 and second-largest retail food supplier.  This program is funded by the
 ConAgra Foundation, the philanthropic arm of ConAgra Foods, which works to
 improve the quality of life in communities across the U.S.
 
     *  Impulse Research Corporation conducted the home food safety survey in
        February 2001 for the American Dietetic Association and the ConAgra
        Foundation through an online survey of 1,594 men and women ages 18 and
        older, living in private households in the continental United States.
        The survey has a margin of error of + or - 2%.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X71591283
 
     CONTACT:  Lori Ferme of American Dietetic Association, 800-877-1600,
 ext. 4802, or Alison Baseley of Edelman Public Relations, 312-240-2848
 
 SOURCE  American Dietetic Association; ConAgra Foods, Inc.