Tips from a Dietitian Consultant on How to Safely Bring in Food from Outside Sources

As a consulting dietitian overseeing nutrition at senior living communities, I know that many residents enjoy food brought in by their family and friends.  But that doesn’t mean the food is always safe to eat. In fact, if the proper procedures aren’t followed, it could be deadly. With these tools created by BSN Solution’s team of expert dietitian consultants, you can ensure the safety of the people in your care.

Food safety is important for everyone, but it’s especially important for your residents. As people age, the changes their bodies undergo make them more susceptible to food-borne illness. Since this illness can be serious – or even fatal – it is important to know and practice safe food-handling methods to help reduce your residents’ risk of getting sick from contaminated food.

To help you educate family members and friends, our consultant dietitians have created a tip sheet you can share with them that answers these questions:

  • How long can food be held at room temperature?
  • How can you safely store leftovers and where?
  • What types of foods and snacks are best to have brought in?
  • How can residents enjoy the foods and snacks they love and still maintain dietary restrictions?

Download these quick tips

We want to hear from you. Let us know if these quick tips help friends and family of your residents. If you have any comments or questions on senior nutrition topics, email us at

About Gail Douglas

Gail joined BSN Solutions as a Regional Director in March of 2013. Her role is to promote the adoption of the new dining standards and person-centered dining throughout the communities serviced by BSN Solutions. She also recruits, coordinates placement of, and supports the dietitian consultants who work with BSN Solutions in its client communities. Gail has a vast 30+ year background in long-term care, having worked within skilled nursing and rehab centers in clinical and management capacities. She holds a Master’s degree in Healthcare Administration as well as a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Nutrition.
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