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Old 01-19-2020, 02:20 PM   #1
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Food Safety and those who live alone

Since my Mom passed away, I am having to be more diligent about what is in the fridge. When my Mom was alive, I managed the fridge contents. Now I have let my Dad have more control over that. Yesterday, I pulled out a pack of bacon (opened) that was GREEN. That went in the garbage. A "can" of pineapple that was black. I got "crap" for tossing the bacon "you sure you couldn't have scraped off the green?" Ummmm….no. I could have let you eat it and die of food poisoning. "We always left stuff in the cans." Ummmm….no Mom didn't. I am now making sure all leftovers, cheese, etc., has a label on it and expiration date. A friend said when her Grandma lived alone, that was one of the weekly tasks--check the fridge.
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Old 01-19-2020, 03:24 PM   #2
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I don't live alone, but I have had to turn my kitchen over to DH, and........(forgive me DH)he has done a great job of keeping it clean, but inside the refrigerator and freezer is not as organized as I would like. Some things do go into the refrig. without a label and winds up going bad and tossed. I gave up keeping a list of what went into the freezer and out of it. YES!!!! Take back the fridge!!!!!! For your health and your fathers.
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Old 01-19-2020, 04:36 PM   #3
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I used to do that at my mother's house - check the fridge, as well as looking around for things she shouldn't have been eating (that was a losing battle). Later, when cleaning out the house, I couldn't believe the stuff I found in the cupboards - places I wasn't really checking, but I should have, as some of it was buried behind what I could see, and wasn't packaged properly. Simply put - insects and other animals found it long before I did.

My fridge looks a mess, but much of the stuff in there is things that really don't go bad - olives and other pickled items, countless Asian preserved goods, and many things that don't really go bad (but quality goes down eventually) at room temp, but can be stored forever in the fridge. Cheeses are in one section, and perishables in another, and leftovers just get set on top of others! I have nobody else to blame, if something goes to waste, so I rarely waste anything! lol Cilantro is the one thing that can go bad overnight, though I now store it on the door, where it stays warmer, and it keeps better.
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Old 01-19-2020, 04:44 PM   #4
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My Dad had dementia. The things he ate...idk how he never got sick.

I was there one day and he had pan fried a pork chop or something a couple days previous. He was setting up to deglaze the pan and make some gravy. Asked me if I wanted any. I'm like Dad you can't cook that up, it's days old! Dad, ehh, it's alright. No, no it's not.

Heaven knows what he ate when I wasn't there. Rock gut.
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Old 01-19-2020, 04:46 PM   #5
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It's about time for me to do my annual review and cleaning of the fridge. No doubt there are a few items that require disposal.
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Old 01-19-2020, 06:45 PM   #6
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At the parent's Remember to give a good sniff to the milk carton in the frig too.
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Old 01-19-2020, 09:02 PM   #7
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My parents have lived alone for 30 years ( at least). Problem is, they still buy as if they have a family of 5, with grandkids ... They have 2 fridges and 2 freezers. More produce than you can imagine ( still in the bags they bought them in, and starting to get slimy. Multiple containers of leftovers, opened dairy products That can feed an army, yet there are only the two of them. We do the best we can raiding the fridge when we visit and trying to make it a safer , less health hazardous food environment . Problem is, they keep buying and cooking for like 10 people, and still have the generational frugal mentality not to throw out or waste anything.

I always go through my fridge weekly, usually the day before I shop ( as im searching through to see what I need and already have) and the day I shop and loading up the fridge, I give it another look over. I do have chickens, so I dont feel too bad about not eating the leftovers, as the chickens eat just about anything, and the older fruits and veggies , if not eaten or partially eaten , wind up in the compost pile.

Our kids have recently moved out, so it is a challenge to learn how to shop and cook for 2 instead of 4
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Old 01-19-2020, 09:08 PM   #8
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We usually remember to label and date leftovers. But, things do start wandering towards the back of the fridge. We do find the occasional "science experiment" that gets thrown out.
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Old 01-20-2020, 08:48 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by larry_stewart View Post
My parents have lived alone for 30 years ( at least). Problem is, they still buy as if they have a family of 5, with grandkids ... They have 2 fridges and 2 freezers. More produce than you can imagine ( still in the bags they bought them in, and starting to get slimy. Multiple containers of leftovers, opened dairy products That can feed an army, yet there are only the two of them. We do the best we can raiding the fridge when we visit and trying to make it a safer , less health hazardous food environment . Problem is, they keep buying and cooking for like 10 people, and still have the generational frugal mentality not to throw out or waste anything.

I always go through my fridge weekly, usually the day before I shop ( as im searching through to see what I need and already have) and the day I shop and loading up the fridge, I give it another look over. I do have chickens, so I dont feel too bad about not eating the leftovers, as the chickens eat just about anything, and the older fruits and veggies , if not eaten or partially eaten , wind up in the compost pile.

Our kids have recently moved out, so it is a challenge to learn how to shop and cook for 2 instead of 4
Maybe they are like DH and myself. We don't do it often, but once in a while we buy certain things on sale in bulk to save money. And hope that the kids will come by more often and we have plenty of food and drinks to feed them and make them happy and glad that they visited. How often do you visit your parents?
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Old 01-20-2020, 03:07 PM   #10
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There's the parents perspective here too. My Souschef and I are seniors for sure, but lucky enough to buy and use what we want without the kids coming over and acting like the food police in our refrigerator. So far, we still have all our marbles the last time I looked, and as long as we do, I expect to be treated like their parent and not their child. Jes sayin'...
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Old 01-20-2020, 03:15 PM   #11
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Maybe they are like DH and myself. We don't do it often, but once in a while we buy certain things on sale in bulk to save money. And hope that the kids will come by more often and we have plenty of food and drinks to feed them and make them happy and glad that they visited. How often do you visit your parents?
My mom is a self admitted hoarder ( not only with food). Although not as bad as those reality programs, walking through her house is a real challenge sometimes and going through her fridge is definitely an experience of its own.

Sure she'll buy stuff on sale, and of course she'll buy things we like, but there comes a common sense point where enough is enough, and the money you are saving on the sale will be a waste if most winds up in the trash from going spoiled.

My mom could invite every member of the DC forum over for dinner and would still have leftovers

Even with all our frequent visits, still a lot of waste. Her intentions are well.
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Old 01-20-2020, 03:37 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by larry_stewart View Post
My parents have lived alone for 30 years ( at least). Problem is, they still buy as if they have a family of 5, with grandkids ... They have 2 fridges and 2 freezers. More produce than you can imagine ( still in the bags they bought them in, and starting to get slimy. Multiple containers of leftovers, opened dairy products That can feed an army, yet there are only the two of them. We do the best we can raiding the fridge when we visit and trying to make it a safer , less health hazardous food environment . Problem is, they keep buying and cooking for like 10 people, and still have the generational frugal mentality not to throw out or waste anything.

I always go through my fridge weekly, usually the day before I shop ( as im searching through to see what I need and already have) and the day I shop and loading up the fridge, I give it another look over. I do have chickens, so I dont feel too bad about not eating the leftovers, as the chickens eat just about anything, and the older fruits and veggies , if not eaten or partially eaten , wind up in the compost pile.

Our kids have recently moved out, so it is a challenge to learn how to shop and cook for 2 instead of 4
My Dad is a food hoarder. Three freezers, full. Two full pantries. The fridge. I try to use up what I can, but with just the two of us here (I plan on leaving once the snow melts--fall risk) and the fact I don't eat bread, pasta, sweets, OR my big meal at the end of the day, makes it tricky. I would like to empty one of the freezers before that...wish me luck. I went with him to the base a few weeks ago (that's where he buys most of the meat). "No, Dad, you have enough frozen salmon." "No, Dad, you have plenty of frozen cod." "No, Dad, you have 10 lb of ground beef." Still, he snuck some ground beef in the cart when my back was turned. This is a person who (a) won't eat leftovers, and (b) doesn't believe in freezing "grab and go" spaghetti sauce, meatballs, meatloaf, etc. Leftovers can't go in the freezer. Challenging to say the least. I want him to be able to live independently--this means I have put in higher watt lightbulbs, taken up the throw rugs, left Mom's grab-bars in the shower.
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Old 01-20-2020, 03:42 PM   #13
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There's the parents perspective here too. My Souschef and I are seniors for sure, but lucky enough to buy and use what we want without the kids coming over and acting like the food police in our refrigerator. So far, we still have all our marbles the last time I looked, and as long as we do, I expect to be treated like their parent and not their child. Jes sayin'...
My Dad is early-stage dementia. I don't want him to get food poisoning because he will scrape the mold of things, eat "green" meat, etc. He is known to leave the mayonnaise out overnight, too. When I leave, he will have someone come in twice/week. I know one of them will clean the fridge on Fridays. I have my own fridge in my "suite" in the basement. I don't keep my food in his fridge.
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Old 01-20-2020, 03:55 PM   #14
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My dad also has beginning early stage dementia. My mom , who was an Intensive Care RN for 25+ years is with him, and takes Goode care of him, but her vision is deteriorating, my dad just turned 80 ( mom almost there). She's very good at caring for him, but has her limits. My brother and sister live within a few miles, so they are looked after frequently, but as we know things can happen in an instant. They really dont eat much , s o its remarkable how much they accumulate. When they moved houses a few years back, they basically started fresh ( refrigerator), and they filled it back up rather quickly. I just think its her mentality to keep a fully stocked fridge, and probably never got used to scaling down once the kids moved out. To her defense, my kids moved out just this past year, and its taking me some time to learn how to cook for 2 instead of 4 ( and my son is 6ft, 200+ and doesn't stop eating). Certain things I can freeze for later use, but other things I just have to learn how to cook for less.
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Old 01-20-2020, 04:30 PM   #15
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Jeannie just turned 80 so, we are both over that hump..

As we have simplified our meals, we have also simplified our fridge/freezer contents and most all the apartment..

As to the "kids" checking up on parents, I instructed my daughter to be observant when she comes by.. I want her to sniff the air, check things for abnormalities and just keep a general eye on how we are living..

She knows us better than anyone else and I am certain that if she suspects something might be harmful, she will point it out.. At my insistence..

We are totally independent but, we are also 80.. Common sense..

Ross
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Old 01-20-2020, 05:47 PM   #16
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Jeannie just turned 80 so, we are both over that hump..

As we have simplified our meals, we have also simplified our fridge/freezer contents and most all the apartment..

As to the "kids" checking up on parents, I instructed my daughter to be observant when she comes by.. I want her to sniff the air, check things for abnormalities and just keep a general eye on how we are living..

She knows us better than anyone else and I am certain that if she suspects something might be harmful, she will point it out.. At my insistence..

We are totally independent but, we are also 80.. Common sense..

Ross
+1 Currently, I have the neighbour's boys digging out the vent for the furnace. It got covered with snow thanks to the snow dump and having the roof cleared. Fine when running on electricity, but not fine when it switches over to propane. It was clear Friday, but not today. Things one has to keep an eye on. Ross, I am sure your daughter appreciates that you appreciate her keeping an eye on things.
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Old 01-21-2020, 08:05 AM   #17
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I visit my parents three times a week and eat there at least once a week. While I was recuperating from surgery, they brought meals over daily. Only one complaint, they over cook their meats. But, I do keep an eye on things and let them know when something should be used up soon or tossed out. Mom likes that I clean out her fridge, means she doesn't have to.
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Old 01-22-2020, 02:50 PM   #18
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I visit my parents three times a week and eat there at least once a week. While I was recuperating from surgery, they brought meals over daily. Only one complaint, they over cook their meats. But, I do keep an eye on things and let them know when something should be used up soon or tossed out. Mom likes that I clean out her fridge, means she doesn't have to.
+1 It isn't I want to be the food police, I am concerned that Dad has more food than he will eat and I don't need to deal with him having food poisoning. We have enough on our plates. He lives 17 miles from town and only has someone coming in on Fridays now that Mom is gone. I am still here, but I want to go back to Ontario in the Spring and have my life back.
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Old 01-23-2020, 07:51 AM   #19
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+1 It isn't I want to be the food police, I am concerned that Dad has more food than he will eat and I don't need to deal with him having food poisoning. We have enough on our plates. He lives 17 miles from town and only has someone coming in on Fridays now that Mom is gone. I am still here, but I want to go back to Ontario in the Spring and have my life back.
When I worked home health, I made sure that the fridge was kept clear of old food. Of course, my fella had me 5 days a week and was not that mobile. I did most of his food prep and cooking. Maybe if you have a chat with his Friday helper about your legitimate concerns.
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