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Food Safety in Hospice


Although it is well known that the food and fluid intake of patients on hospice declines through the dying process, food safety remains an important part of comprehensive care.  Hospice aides are often involved in handling food and feeding patients.  Food safety includes storage, preparation, and knowledge of cross-contamination that can cause foodborne illnesses (also called “food poisoning”).  This module covers how microorganisms cause foodborne illnesses, the importance of time and temperature, proper cooking, thawing, prep, and cleaning, and how personal hygiene that can contribute to foodborne illnesses.  Symptoms of foodborne illnesses and the hospice aide’s responsibilities are also included.  This module contains the following learning objectives:

  • Discuss the causes of foodborne illnesses
  • Define the importance of time and temperature
  • Review thawing, preparing, and cooking foods
  • Discuss cross-contamination in food preparation and storage
  • List symptoms of foodborne illnesses and the hospice aide’s responsibilities
  • Discuss personal hygiene as a contributor to foodborne illnesses


  • Self-study Section
  • Appendix A:  Microorganisms that Cause Foodborne Illnesses
  • Appendix B:  Minimum Safe Internal Temperatures & Times
  • Test Questions
  • Instructor Answer Key
  • Attendance Sheet
  • Evaluation Form
  • Certificate of Attendance