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Health Tip: Seniors at Heightened Risk of Foodborne Illness

(HealthDay News) -- If you're 65 or older, your immune system probably is weaker than when you were younger, and you're at higher risk of contracting foodborne illness.

The foodsafety.gov website cites these specific changes among older people:

  • The gastrointestinal tract holds on to food longer, affording more time for bacteria to grow.

  • The liver and kidneys may not be as efficient in ridding the body of harmful bacteria and toxins.

  • The stomach may not produce enough acid, which helps keep gastrointestinal bacteria in check.

  • Seniors may be more prone to chronic health conditions that increase their risk of foodborne illness.

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