Media Release

November 21, 2012

Risk of food poisoning increases with age

York Region launches food safety guide for older adults
Adults know the importance of preparing food safely at home however what they may not know is their risk of food poisoning increases with age. The Regional Municipality of York has launched a food safety guide to help residents aged 60 and over protect themselves from food-related illness.
Older adults are at higher risk of food poisoning for many reasons. As we age, it becomes harder for our immune systems to fight off harmful bacteria, viruses or parasites. Chronic diseases, including diabetes, arthritis and kidney disease, also make fighting off infection more difficult.
While most people recover completely from food poisoning, older adults are more likely to develop serious long-term health problems, including kidney failure and anaemia.
Residents – especially those aged 60 and over – are encouraged to follow four critical food safety steps to prevent food poisoning.
Step one – Clean. Wash hands and surfaces often to avoid the spread of bacteria and remember to wash fruits and vegetables before preparing.
Step two – Separate. Raw meat, poultry and seafood should be kept separate from other food in the grocery cart, grocery bags and refrigerator to avoid cross-contamination.
Step three – Cook.  Cook food to its recommended internal temperature to kill harmful bacteria and use a food thermometer to check. You cannot tell if food is cooked correctly by how it looks.
Step four – Chill. Chill food promptly to slow the growth of bacteria. Make sure your refrigerator is set to 4°C (40°F) or lower and check it occasionally with a fridge thermometer.
York Region’s Food Safety Program takes a variety of approaches to ensure residents, visitors and businesses prepare and consume food that is safe to eat and comes from an approved source.
For more information on food safety or any public health-related program, please contact York Region Health Connection at 1-800-361-5653 or TTY 1-866-252-9933 or visit  
For a copy of the Food Safety for Older Adults guide, visit
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Media Contact: Lisa Sposito, Community and Health Services, The Regional Municipality of York
905-830-4444 or 1-877-464-9675, ext. 4106  After-Hours Cell: 905-955-2533
The Regional Municipality of York provides services to 1.1 million residents and 41,000 businesses that employ 516,000 people

Founded in 1971, The Regional Municipality of York is made up of nine municipalities
and provides services to more than one million residents, 29,000 businesses and 495,000 employees.

 For more information visit us at Follow us on : York Region   @YorkRegionGovt  
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