Key Message: Once infected with foodborne pathogens, high-risk individuals, such as the elderly, are more likely to develop severe symptoms and even life-threatening. Therefore, it is necessary to avoid eating high-risk foods. In addition, the elderly should also beware of food that poses a suffocation risk.

When we get older, our immune systems and natural defences are progressively weakened. Some may have their immune systems further weakened if they suffer from certain chronic diseases, such as diabetes, as a result of the disease or its treatment. Once infected with food-borne pathogen, the elderly are more likely to develop severe symptoms which may be life-threatening. The elderly should avoid consuming high-risk foods.

Raw or undercooked foods

Raw or undercooked foods are high-risk foods, as there is no or inadequate heat treatment to eliminate the microorganisms present that can pose risks to human health. Elderly people should avoid eating them. Click here to read about raw or undercooked foods.

Risk of Suffocation

Elderly people with weak chewing or swallowing ability are prone to choking due to eating certain foods, leading to suffocation:

To reduce the risk of food-related choking, when preparing meals for the elderly, caregivers are advised to:

People with Swallowing Difficulties

Some people might suffer from swallowing difficulties due to certain medical conditions, such as stroke. Special dietary arrangements should be made to reduce the risk of choking. Please seek medical advice from a speech therapist or other equivalent experts.

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