Tips to avoid foods if you are over 65

Tips to avoid foods if you are over 65

Mostly older people fall in higher risk of food poisoning. And, some foods are more likely to cause food poisoning than other foods. Here experts advice on which foods to avoid or be careful with when you’re over 65.

Some soft cheeses

Soft cheeses can be risky to eat when you are older because they may be less acidic and contain more moisture than hard cheeses, which makes them an ideal environment for food-poisoning bugs, particularly listeria, to grow in. Cooked soft cheeses are fine because heat kills this bacteria.

Raw or runny eggs

Avoid foods that contain raw and undercooked eggs, such as homemade mayonnaise, eggnog, and hollandaise sauce because they increase your risk of salmonella food poisoning.

Always cook eggs until the whites and yolks are solid to prevent problems. If you want to eat a dish that contains raw or partially cooked egg it's safer to use pasteurised eggs.

Cold meats

Many cold meats are not cooked like salami, Parma ham, chorizo and pepperoni, they just cured and fermented, so there's a risk that they contain toxoplasmosis-causing parasites. It's best to check the instructions on the pack to see whether the product is ready-to-eat or needs cooking first.

For ready-to-eat meats, you can reduce any risk from parasites by freezing cured/fermented meats for four days at home before you eat them. Freezing kills most parasites and so makes the meat safer to eat.

If you're planning to cook the meat (for instance, pepperoni on pizza) then you don't need to freeze it first.


Never drink raw (unpasteurized) milk. Instead, stick to pasteurised or UHT (ultra-heat treated) milk – sometimes also called long-life milk.

In reality, all the milk sold in shops and supermarkets will be pasteurised or UHT; you can only buy unpasteurised milk direct from farms, farm shops and at registered farmers' markets.