July 15, 2024

FDA Food Safety Tips for Diabetics

Diabetics are among those at a special risk for food poisoning. And because November is American Diabetes Month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has put together some information about food safety for diabetics.

FDADiabetes can impair the proper function of various organs and systems in the body, making diabetics more susceptible to infection. The immune system, the gastrointestinal tract, and the kidneys are all affected by diabetes. And they all play crucial roles in detecting and fighting the bacteria that can cause food poisoning.

For example, when the body’s immune system is compromised, it doesn’t readily recognize harmful bacteria or other pathogens. This delay in immune response can create an increased risk for infection. Or, when diabetes has damaged the cells that create stomach acid and the nerves that aid digestion, the stomach may hold food or beverages for longer periods of time, allowing harmful bacteria and other pathogens to grow. Or, if kidneys have been damaged, they may hold harmful bacteria, toxins, and other pathogens. And damaged kidneys are more susceptible to pathogens.

That’s why those with diabetes should pay special attention when  handling, preparing, and consuming foods. At home, it’s important for everyone to clean produce carefully, use a food thermometer and avoid high-risk foods such as raw milk, unpasteurized juices, foods that contain raw eggs, sprouts, pates and soft cheeses. Those food safety measures are especially important for those with diabetes. In addition, the FDA advises, that diabetics take special care when dining out to ask how foods are prepared and if they contain uncooked ingredients such as eggs, sprouts, meat, poultry, or seafood. Always ask questions if you aren’t sure about the foods you are ordering.

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