March – Nutrition & Food Safety

Food safety and nutrition – let’s all make the healthy decision!

Food Safety affects every Canadian and we all have a responsibility to ensure we do our part to prevent food borne illnesses from spreading in our communities.  

General Food Safety

What is “food safety”? Food Safety refers to handling, preparing and storing food in a way to best reduce the risk individuals becoming sick from food borne illnesses. Follow four rules of safety

Clean — Wash hands and surfaces often.
Separate — Don’t cross-contaminate.
Cook — Cook to the right temperature.
Chill — Refrigerate promptly.

For more food safe tips and information check out the Government of Canada website. 

Food Borne Illnesses & Outbreak

Every year, more than 4 million Canadians get food poisoning, also known as “food borne illness.” Protect yourself by learning about food poisoning, its symptoms and treatments, and how to avoid getting sick in the first place.

Over 11,500 hospitalizations and 240 deaths occur each year due to food-related illnesses.

Most types of food poisoning cause one or more of the following signs and symptoms:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Watery or bloody diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain and cramps
  • Fever

Most people fully recover, but foodborne illnesses can result in chronic health problems in up to 3% of cases, including chronic arthritis and kidney failure.  Always follow the 4 rules: Clean, Separate, Cook and Chill!

For more information checkout Canada’s Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) website. 

Nutrition for Seniors

People aged 65 and older are more vulnerable to food poisoning and other infections related to food-borne contaminants. The consequences of these food-borne illnesses are more severe and fatal for the elderly.  Also, natural aging can alter a person’s nutritional requirements, as can medical conditions like high blood pressure or mobility issues.   Regional Geriatric Program of Toronto Nutrition Toolkit for Senior’s has information on nutrition risk in the elderly.

Access resources to help keep seniors and their caregivers informed and safe!  Canada’s Food Guide has information on portion control, eating habits, recipes and more.  Make sure to check it out!  Caregiver Stress has a great resource guide as well and SeniorsBC has a healthy eating for seniors guide, be sure to take a look. 

Food for Health

Many Canadians want to make a positive contribution to their health and well-being. A good way to start is to make food and activity choices based on balance and moderation, and to handle food with safety in mind. We can eat very well, given the variety, safety, and wide availability of our foods today.

The Food for Health exhibition and website from the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum takes a fresh look at the foods we eat and answers many of the questions Canadians have about their food choices, about food safety and about the role food plays in ensuring good health.

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