Food safety awareness of older people at home: a pilot study.

Hudson, P. and Hartwell, H., 2002. Food safety awareness of older people at home: a pilot study. Journal of the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health, 122 (3), pp. 165-169.

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Abstract

The UK has an increasingly ageing population with the majority of older people preferring to remain independent and live in their own homes. However, during their lifetime, there have been many changes in areas such as food technology and shopping practices which have had a profound influence on the health and well-being of this vulnerable group. The aim of this pilot study, therefore, was to investigate issues surrounding food safety of older people living at home. A focus group (n = 9) was initially conducted to elucidate areas of potential concern. This was followed up by semi-structured interviews and observations (n = 16) within the home. Results show that most participants had not measured their refrigerator temperature and did not know what it should be. The majority had not adjusted the temperature control/dial and gauged the 'correct' temperature by the feel of goods inside. 'Use by' dates were generally well understood, but not always adhered to due to difficulty in reading the labels. Items were purchased near to the end of this date as they are sometimes cheaper, and although older people appreciated these dates related to food safety, items were often kept for up to a month before consumption. This has major implications, particularly if the refrigerator is not working at the correct temperature. There is a lack of readily available educational material on this topic and most people would like to be better informed. If the Government are to encourage more independent lifestyles of older people, then awareness of food safety should be higher on the agenda. Further research to ascertain food safety needs, and awareness of this group are also required. This should also include an assessment of the impact of situations where food consumed at home is prepared elsewhere, e.g. meals-on-wheels.

Item Type:Article
ISSN:1466-4240
Uncontrolled Keywords:Food safety Home Older people
Subjects:Technology > Food Science and Drinks
Group:School of Tourism
ID Code:88
Deposited By:Mr David Ball LEFT
Deposited On:18 Dec 2007
Last Modified:07 Mar 2013 14:15

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