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Foods Seniors are Advised Not to Eat

To reduce risks of illness from bacteria in food, seniors (and others who face special risks of illness) are advised not to eat:

  • Raw fin fish and shellfish, including oysters, clams, mussels, and scallops.
  • Hot dogs and luncheon meats, unless they are reheated until steaming hot.
  • Raw or unpasteurized milk or soft cheeses (such as feta, Brie, Camembert, blue-veined, and Mexican-style cheese) unless they are labeled "made with pasteurized milk."
  • Refrigerated pates or meat spreads. Canned or shelf-stable pates and meat spreads may be eaten
  • Refrigerated smoked seafood unless it is contained in a cooked dish, such as a casserole. Refrigerated smoked seafood, such as salmon, trout, whitefish, cod, tuna, or mackerel, is most often labeled as “nova-style,” “lox,” “kippered,” “smoked,” or “jerky.” These products are found in the refrigerator section or sold at deli counters of grocery stores and delicatessens. Canned or shelfstable smoked seafood may be eaten.
  • Raw or lightly cooked eggs or products containing raw eggs such as salad dressings, cookie or cake batter, sauces, and beverages such as egg nog. (Such foods made from commercially pasteurized eggs are safe to eat.)
  • Raw meat or poultry.
  • Raw sprouts (alfalfa, clover, and radish)
  • Unpasteurized or untreated fruit or vegetable juice (These juices will carry a warning label.)
  • New information on food safety is constantly emerging. Recommendations and precautions are updated as scientists learn more about preventing foodborne illness. You need to be aware of and follow the most current information on food safety. See page 17 for ways to learn about food safety updates.

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