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1. Persons with Disabilities Should Have Access to Safe and Adequate Nutrition

1.1 Safe and Adequate Nutrition 

    1. Wash your hands before, during, and after cooking/baking. Wash hands before and after eating food to stop the spread of germs and bacteria that can make you sick

      If you do not have access to soap or water, use hand sanitizer before, during, and after cooking/baking.

1.2 Follow Five Steps to Wash Your Hands

  1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice or any other song of similar length!
  4. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

For more resources on how to properly wash your hands check out these videos and images created by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

1.3 Hand Washing Videos

For additional CDC videos on Hand Washing

1.4 Hand Washing Posters:

  1. Wash Your Hands poster
  2. Wash Your Hands Poster (Spanish) 
  3. When and How to Wash Your Hands Poster

1.5 Wash surface and utensils after each use to stop the spread of germs:

  1. Wash cutting boards, dishes, utensils, and countertops with hot, soapy water, especially after holding raw meat, poultry, seafood, or eggs.
  2. Wash dishcloths often in the hot cycle of your washing machine. If you do not have access to a washing machine, put in hot soapy water and hang to dry.

1.6 Wash fruits and vegetables, but not meat, poultry, or eggs:

  1. Cut away any damaged or bruised areas
  2. Rinse fruits and vegetables under running water. You don’t need to use soap, bleach, or commercial product washes.
  3. Scrub firm produce like melons or cucumbers with a clean brush or cloth.
  4. Don’t wash meat, poultry, eggs, or seafood to avoid spreading harmful germs around your kitchen.
  5. Produce labeled as “pre-washed” does not need to be washed again.

1.7 Do Not Cross Contaminate:

  1. Use separate cutting boards, utensils,  and plates for produce, meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs to prevent diseases from uncooked foods.
  2. If you do not have multiple cutting boards, wash in between uses with hot, soapy water.

1.8 Refrigerate perishable foods within 2 hours: 

Perishable foods are fresh foods that include fruits and vegetables, fresh meat, foods purchased from chill cabinets, and freshly cooked food stored to be used later

  1. Never leave perishable foods out of the refrigerator for more than 2 hours.
  2. If the food is exposed to temperatures above 90℉ (like a hot car or summer picnic), refrigerate food within 1 hour.
  3. Leftovers should be placed in shallow containers and refrigerated promptly to allow quick cooling
    1. Cover leftover, wrap in airtight packaging (foil or saran/plastic wrap) or seal them in storage containers
    2. Refrigerate leftovers for 3 to 4 days or in the freezer for 3 to 4 months
  4. Never thaw or marinate foods on the counter. The safest way to thaw or marinate meat, poultry, or seafood is in the refrigerator
    1. Typically it takes a few hours to thaw frozen meat in the refrigerator (a good guideline is 5-6 hours for every pound)
  5. Your refrigerator should be set to 40℉ or below and your freezer to 0℉ or below. Use an appliance thermometer to be sure.
  6. Know when to throw out food by checking the Cold Food Storage Chart on FoodSafety.gov before harmful bacteria grows
  7. Visit the USDA’s MyPlate website, which can help you figure out target goals for food groups based on your estimated calorie needs.

1.9 Kitchen Tool Safety

  1. Knives are kitchen tools used to cut vegetables, fruits, dairy, and proteins.
  2. Use a knife only for its intended purpose which is in the kitchen
  3. Never place knives near an edge of a countertop
  4. Always ensure no one is within arms reach when you have a knife
  5. Make sure that you cut away from yourself
  6. Secure a cutting board to avoid slipping. Place a wet cloth underneath the cutting board
  7. For more information on Food and Kitchen Safety, check out this video
  8.  For more information, explore the following resources:
    1. Basic Knife Safety Tips for Beginners
    2. Basic Knife Skills
    3. CDC Food Safety in the Kitchen
    4. Four Steps to Food Safety: Clean, Separate, Cook, Chill

1.10 Tool Options:

  • Clever Cutter:
    • Combination cutting board and kitchen knife to prevent cuts while cutting food. This tool is utilized as a 2-in-1 knife and cutting board.
    • Individuals with reduced mobility, a poor grip, or disabilities can benefit from using this device. Those who may have use of only one hand or reduced mobility in either hand can benefit from this.
  • Express Food Chopper:
    • Chops a variety of foods safely, including herbs, fruits, and vegetables with just a few pushes of the handle. It can also be used for mixing items such as flour, eggs, soup, or cream.
    • Individuals with use of only one hand or reduced mobility in either hand can benefit from this.
  • One-Handed Chopping Board:
    • Chop foods with just one hand safer and easier.
    • Individuals with use of only one hand or reduced mobility in either hand can benefit from this.
  • Ring Pull Can Opener:
    • Open cans with little to no risk of getting cut
    • Individuals with low grip strength can benefit from this.
  • Ergonomic Pots and Pans: 
    • Angled and heat resistant silicone handles take the strain off the wrists and reduce risk of getting burnt from steam.
    • Individuals with reduced mobility or low grip strength can benefit from this.
  • Large Print Measuring Cups:
    • The large print make them easy to read
    • Individuals with vision impairment can benefit from these tools.

  • Talking Food Thermometer:
    • When the button is pressed, the temperature is said out loud by the thermometer.
    • Individuals with vision impairment can benefit from this device.

  • Plastic Knives:
    • The blunt tips provide the ability to still cut foods, but reduces the risk of personal injury from accidentally poking or cutting oneself.
    • Individuals with unsteady hands can benefit from this.
  • Cut Resistant Gloves:
    • Protects hands when using sharp items such as a knife.
    • For safety, anyone using a sharp knife can benefit from this.

1.11 Speech-Language Pathologists and Dysphagia (Difficulty Swallowing)

  1. General definition: Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) are experts in communication. SLPs work with people of all ages, from babies to adults. SLPs treat many types of communication and swallowing problems. These include problems with:
    1. Speech sounds—how we say sounds and put sounds together into words. Other words for these problems are articulation or phonological disorders, apraxia of speech, or dysarthria.
    2. Language—how well we understand what we hear or read and how we use words to tell others what we are thinking. In adults this problem may be called aphasia.
    3. Literacy—how well we read and write. People with speech and language disorders may also have trouble reading, spelling, and writing. Social communication—how well we follow rules, like taking turns, how to talk to different people, or how close to stand to someone when talking. This is also called pragmatics.
    4. Voice—how our voices sound. We may sound hoarse, lose our voices easily, talk too loudly or through our noses, or be unable to make sounds.
    5. Fluency—also called stuttering, is how well speech flows. Someone who stutters may repeat sounds, like t-t-t-table, use “um” or “uh,” or pause a lot when talking. Many young children will go through a time when they stutter, but most outgrow it.
    6. Cognitive communication—how well our minds work. Problems may involve memory, attention, problem solving, organization, and other thinking skills.
    7. Feeding and swallowing—how well we suck, chew, and swallow food and liquid. A swallowing disorder may lead to poor nutrition, weight loss, and other health problems. This is also called dysphagia.
    8. Swallowing disorders can lead to health issues and social problems, like choosing not to eat meals with others. Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) help people who have trouble swallowing.
      1. Where can I find a speech-language pathologist?
    9. Private  practices
    10. Physicians’ offices
    11. Hospitals
    12. Schools
    13. Colleges and Universities
    14. Rehabilitation centers, long-term and residential health care facilities
    15. ASHA is the American Speech-Language Hearing Association, a national organization that certifies speech-language pathologists. To find an ASHA certified speech-language pathologist, you can also use the ProFind tool on the ASHA website.
      1. ASHA Website
      2. “Dining with Dysphagia: A Cookbook
        “This cookbook was compiled by the students and marketing team of NYU-Steinhardt’s new online master’s program, which started September 2016: Speech@NYU. This cookbook is comprised of 8 winning recipes created by the on-campus students from NYU-Steinhardt’s Annual Iron Chef Competition.” – NYU- Steinhardt
  1. 1.12 Food Allergies 
  1. A food allergy occurs when the body’s immune system responds to certain food as harmful and allergic symptoms are caused as a response.
  2. The most common food allergies in the United States include:
    1. Milk
    2. Peanut
    3. Tree Nut
    4. Eggs
    5. Soy
    6. Wheat
    7. Fish
    8. Shellfish
  3. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include: trouble breathing, skin rashes, nausea, vomiting, or loose stools.
  4. A food intolerance does not involve the immune system and symptoms are less serious than food allergies. People with food intolerances can usually tolerate the food(s) they have an intolerance to in small amounts.  Common intolerances include lactose, gluten intolerance and sulfite sensitivity.
  5. If you suspect a food allergy it is recommended to have a comprehensive evaluation with an allergist/immunologist.
  6. Registered Dietitians and Physicians can help you manage safe and nutritious meals and snacks  while living with food allergies and intolerances.
  7. Tips for Introducing New Foods Among Infants
    1. Introduce common allergenic foods after other solid foods have been fed and tolerated.
    2. Observe for reactions
    3. If no reaction occurs, you can gradually introduce one new food spaced out  every 3-5 days.
  8. Resources:
    1. Ask the Allergist
    2. Allergy Symptoms
    3. Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
  9. Disclaimer for allergies and swallowing. Consult with your physician regarding any ingredients in the recipe that might cause an allergic reaction
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