Analysis of older adults' domestic kitchen storage practices in the United Kingdom: identification of risk factors associated with listeriosis
Evans, Ellen W.
International Association for Food Protection
MetadataShow full item record
Increased listeriosis incidence among older adults (≥60 years) has been reported internationally, with many cases reported to be sporadic and associated with ready-to-eat (RTE) food products with extended refrigerated shelf life. Given that the home kitchen is recognized as a significant location where foodborne illnesses are acquired, it is important that consumers implement safe food practices to minimize risks. This is crucial for vulnerable consumers, such as older adults. Consumer food safety recommendations in the United Kingdom to reduce the risk of listeriosis at home include (i) following “use-by” dates on unopened prepacked RTE food products, (ii) consuming RTE food products within 2 days of opening, and (iii) ensuring the safe operating temperatures of domestic refrigerators (≤5°C). This study utilized observation, self-reporting, and microbiological analysis to determine actual food storage practices to identify behavioral risk factors. A domestic kitchen survey was conducted in older adult (≥60 years) consumers' domestic kitchens (n = 100) in South Wales, United Kingdom. Forty-one percent of foods in home refrigerators were beyond the use-by date, of which 11% were unopened RTE food products commonly associated with listeriosis. Sixty-six percent of opened RTE foods had been or were intended to be stored beyond the recommended 2 days after opening. Older adults failed to ensure safe refrigeration temperatures, with 50% of central storage and 85% of door storage areas operating at temperatures >5°C. Older refrigerators operated at significantly (P < 0.05) higher temperatures. Given that Listeria monocytogenes was isolated in 2% of kitchens, these findings suggest that storage malpractices may have a greater effect on the potential risk of listeriosis than its presence alone. The study has determined that many older adults fail to adhere to recommendations and subject RTE foods associated with L. monocytogenes to prolonged storage at unsafe temperatures which may render food unsafe for consumption.
Journal of Food Protection
Evans, E. W., & Redmond, E. C. (2015). 'Analysis of older adults' domestic kitchen storage practices in the United Kingdom: identification of risk factors associated with listeriosis', Journal of Food Protection, 78(4), pp. 738-745.
This article was published in Journal of Food Protection on 01 April 2015, available at http://dx.doi.org/10.4315/0362-028X.JFP-14-527
Showing items related by title, author, subject and abstract.
Comparison of listeriosis risk factors among three ‘at-risk’ consumer groups: pregnant women, older adults and chemotherapy patients Evans, Ellen W.; Redmond, Elizabeth (International Association for Food Protection, 2016-08)Introduction: Due to weakened immune function, listeriosis is particularly associated with ‘at-risk’ consumers, predominantly affecting pregnant-women, older-adults (aged ≥ 60 years) and people receiving chemotherapy. ...
Older adult consumer knowledge, attitudes and self-reported storage practices of ready-to-eat food products and risks associated with listeriosis Evans, Ellen W.; Redmond, Elizabeth (International Association for Food Protection, 2016)Consumer implementation of recommended food safety practices, specifically relating to time and temperature control of ready-to-eat (RTE) food products associated with listeriosis are crucial. This is particularly the case ...
Evans, Ellen W.; Redmond, Elizabeth (International Association for Food Protection, 2016)Increased consumer demand for convenience and ready-to-eat (RTE) food, along with changes to consumer food purchase and storage practices have resulted in an increased reliance on refrigeration to maximize food safety. ...