Predictors of eating raw or undercooked meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs among older adults
Adults aged 60 years or older are more likely than those in other age groups to experience complications, hospitalization, and death because of foodborne infections. To reduce their risk of illness, older adults should avoid eating certain foods, such as raw or undercooked meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs. This study examined the relationship between consumption of risky foods and demographic characteristics and risk perceptions, using data from a nationally representative survey of older adults (n = 1,140). By use of logistic regression analysis, risky food consumption was modeled as a function of demographics, health status, disease diagnosis, self-assessment of food safety knowledge, perceptions about seriousness of food contamination, and perceptions that older adults are at increased risk of contracting foodborne illness. Age, race/ethnicity, education, perceptions about seriousness of food contamination, and self-assessment of food safety knowledge were predictors of consumption of risky food. Food safety educators, dietitians, and other practitioners who work with older adults can inform individuals with these characteristics about the risks of eating certain foods and thus help prevent foodborne diseases.