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Special Foods/Special Advice

Some foods may contain bacteria that can be especially harmful to older adults and cause serious illness. This section highlights foods older adults are advised not to eat. It also explains important safe food handling tips for some ready-to-eat foods commonly found in the refrigerated section of your grocery store.

Reheating ready-to-eat foods:

It’s important to reheat some refrigerated foods that you buy pre-cooked. That’s because these foods can become re-contaminated with bacteria after they have been processed and packaged at the plant.

These foods include: hot dogs, luncheon meats, cold cuts, and other deli-style meat and poultry products that are kept refrigerated.

  • Reheat these foods until they are steaming hot. If you cannot reheat these foods, do not eat them.
  • Wash your hands with warm, soapy water after handling these types of ready-to-eat foods. (Wash for at least 20 seconds.) Also wash cutting boards, dishes and utensils with hot, soapy water.Thorough washing helps eliminate any bacteria that might get on your hands or other surfaces from the food before it’s been reheated.

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