Anytime there are long-standing traditions, there are beliefs to go along with them. Sometimes these can be detrimental. As the holiday season comes around, it is important to evaluate some of the beliefs and myths that may have been passed down through your family, and determine if they may be compromising your food safety. Being a family caregiver makes this even more important as elderly adults are more prone to foodborne infection and illness, which can become extremely serious very quickly.
Some popular Thanksgiving food myths include:
-Storing food outside in cold weather is safe. Holidays revolving around food often mean refrigerator and freezer room is at a premium. For those living in cold climates, putting food outside to stay cold is a common habit. This, however, can be very dangerous. Putting food outside can attract bugs and animals, but it can also push the food into the temperature danger zone. Even if the temperature outside is chilly, sunlight can heat up a food storage container just like it could heat up a car. This can put it at risk of developing foodborne pathogens.
-Never cook a frozen turkey. Many believe turkeys that are still frozen are not able to be cooked, which might lead them to unsafe habits such as running them under hot water. This can lead to very dangerous cross contamination and growth of pathogens. Frozen turkeys can be roasted, they simply take longer. Remember to pull out the neck and gizzards a few hours into the cooking process if they cannot be removed prior to cooking.
-Putting stuffing inside a turkey is safe. The reason this dish is called stuffing is the old tradition of filling the cavity of a turkey with it before roasting. This is not safe. Putting stuffing inside the turkey puts it in contact with the dangerous juices of the raw turkey and also warms the stuffing to an unsafe temperature without getting it fully cooked. Instead, opt for dressing, which is the same food only cooked outside the turkey.
-It is fine to “graze” throughout the afternoon because it’s cool outside. Thanksgiving meals can stretch for an hour or more, and then you may be tempted to leave the food out, to steal bites from it throughout the afternoon. Simply because the weather is cooler does not mean it’s safe to leave food out. The inside temperature is still warm enough to put the food into the danger zone within a couple of hours, meaning that food needs to be put away promptly to stay safe.
The stress of being a family caregiver does not have to ruin your holiday season. If you are feeling overwhelmed by your caregiver tasks or worried that you can’t give your senior the care they need while also participating in the holiday season, now is the time to make home care a part of your routine.
An in-home senior care services provider can make a tremendous difference in your senior’s life, as well as yours. The personalized care of this provider is designed specifically to help your aging loved one manage their challenges and needs, maintain their health, and enjoy greater independence throughout their later years. During the holiday season, helping them participate in holiday celebrations and traditions, being with them when you are unavailable, and offering the companionship and support that can help to manage depression and other mental health issues common during this time of year.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Homecare in Roswell, GA, please call the caring staff at Always Care Nursing Service today.
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