Every week I visit dad and find outdated, smelly foods in his refrigerator. He says throwing out food is “wasteful” and even though the food looks bad, it can’t spoil because the refrigerator keeps it cold. He hasn’t gotten sick--can he be on target?
- Nicole, Palm City
No. Not even close. Dad may have avoided food poisoning thus far, but he’s flirting with danger. As we age, our immune system weakens, making it more difficult to fight off bacteria and in dad’s case, more vulnerable to dangerous, often difficult to treat food borne illnesses. It is unlikely dad will change without a fuss, but his safety is worth arguing about. Try bringing groceries each time you visit and replace the old or spoiled food with the fresh. Some guidelines are: consume or discard opened packages of perishable foods (cheese, luncheon meat, milk, etc.) within five days. Consume food by “use by” date on packages. In hot weather (over 90°), perishable food should not be out of refrigeration for more than one hour. Buy a refrigerator thermometer and check regularly to keep temperature below 40° F.
Judie Rappaport, President & Founder
Preferred Lifestyle Services
Trust Yourself. You Have the Knowledge, Insight,
and Power to make the right decisions for you and your parent. ©
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