The Cariboo Press reports that according to Health Canada, seniors are more vulnerable to foodborne illness.
As we age, our immune system tends to deteriorate. The immune system is one of the most important mechanisms for fighting disease and preserving health, so a decrease in the level of disease- fighting cells is a significant factor in the number of infections that may occur.
In addition, undergoing major surgery also affects the body’s ability to fight off infections. To counteract the effects of aging on the immune system, long-term regular exercise is important.

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Alice O’Connor and Lois Levin, registered dietitians at Baystate Medical Center, say seniors are at a distinct risk for developing foodborne illnesses.
Food poisoning happens if food contaminated with certain types of bacteria is eaten. Symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. This can occur as soon as 30 minutes or as long as five or more days after eating a contaminated food. Symptoms can last for a day or two or up to a week to 10 days. If food poisoning is suspected and symptoms do not improve after two or three days, or if stools contain blood, seek medical attention.
Older people are more at risk for developing a foodborne illness for several reasons. As people age, physiological changes diminish our five senses and the immune system becomes weaker. Health problems and medications can also affect the immune system. This makes it more difficult to fight off harmful bacteria when contaminated food is eaten. Age-related depression or loneliness can affect one’s desire to make an effort to invest in healthy eating practices. Additionally, many seniors have outdated and potentially dangerous food handling techniques.

Continue Reading Food poisoning poses danger for seniors