Older adults have a higher risk because as people age, their immune systems and organs don’t recognize and get rid of harmful germs as well as they once did. Nearly half of people aged 65 and older who have a lab-confirmed foodborne illness from Salmonella, Campylobacter, Listeria or E. coli are hospitalized.
Older adults, pregnant woman and young children are among the most vulnerable to foodborne illnesses. People with compromised immune systems are also at risk. If you’ve ever become sick after eating a food contaminated with disease-causing bacteria, it’s not an experience you want to repeat.
The elderly are particularly vulnerable to food poisoning. Not only do they contract foodborne illnesses at a higher rate than other segments of society, they are also more likely to need prolonged medical attention because of it.
Adults age 65 and older. Children younger than 5 years. People whose immune systems are weakened due to illness or medical treatment. Pregnant women.
Why Are Older Adults More Vulnerable? As adults age, certain factors can weaken the immune systems, making it harder to fight off bacteria and serious illness. Older adults may produce less stomach acid, which helps to control bacteria, and weakened kidneys may struggle to filter bacteria from the blood.
Top 5 Foodborne Illness Risk Factors
Foodborne illness is caused by consuming contaminated foods or beverages. Many different disease-causing microbes or pathogens can contaminate foods, so there are many different types of foodborne illnesses. Most foodborne diseases are infections caused by a variety of bacteria, viruses, and parasites.
Why are elderly people considered a high-risk population when it comes to foodborne illnesses? People’s immune systems weaken with age. Being a foodservice manager is not easy. You have responsibilities to your operation, your staff, and your customers.
This increased risk is because organs and body systems change as the body ages. The digestive system holds food longer, allowing bacteria to grow while the stomach may not produce enough acid to limit the number of intestinal bacteria. The liver and kidneys may not properly rid the body of foreign bacteria and toxins.
Dehydration, which can be fatal, is the major complication of food poisoning because you lose fluids from vomiting and diarrhea. Older people and others with inadequate immune systems can become extremely dehydrated. Hospitalization for intravenous hydration may be necessary.
High-risk foods are those that are most likely to cause food poisoning. High-risk foods, also called potentially hazardous foods, are foods that have ideal conditions for bacterial growth, and are therefore more likely to harbour dangerous bacteria and other disease-causing pathogens like viruses and parasites.
High risk groups People who are at higher risk for developing significant food-borne illnesses are generally those who have compromised immune systems. This can include people who suffer with chronic illnesses or immune system disorders, as well as the elderly, pregnant women and young children under the age of six.
Why is food handler training required in California? California food safety laws require food workers to get food handler training because every step toward food safety education is a step away from preventable foodborne illness outbreaks.
Food poisoning can affect one person or a group of people who all ate the same food. It is more common after eating at picnics, school cafeterias, large social functions, or restaurants. When germs get into the food, it is called contamination.