A baby’s immune system is less developed than an adult’s. For this reason you must take extra care when preparing food for babies and young children.
Food preparation guidelines
• Ensure you have good personal hygiene standards to keep bacteria (germs) at bay – wash your hands thoroughly before preparing foods and especially after handling raw food and before handling cooked food, after going to the toilet and after handling pets. Use liquid anti-bacterial soap where possible.
• Wipe high chairs and eating areas with an anti-bacterial sanitizer before and after every meal.
• Keep kitchen surfaces clean – clean worktops and utensils after use and between handling raw and cooked or ready-to-eat foods. Use an anti-bacterial sanitizer.
• Store food in a fridge between 0-5?C/32-41?F and use within 48 hours.
• Change kitchen cloths and kitchen towels daily or more often if dirty.
• Teach your children to wash their hands after visiting the toilet or touching pets.
• Defrost frozen ingredients thoroughly – unless stated on the labels.
• Cook foods thoroughly, until piping hot, then allow to cool until comfortable to eat.
• Keep hot food hot and cold food cold. Never leave food standing around. If you reheat food also make sure it is piping hot. Never reheat food more than once.
• Don’t cook foods too far in advance as this can allow the growth of bacteria if kept at room temperature.
• Cook eggs until white and yolk are solid, or use pasteurized egg products.
Food storage tips
• Store food safely – put chilled and frozen food away as soon as you can.
• Prepare and store raw and cooked food separately – keep raw and uncooked food (especially meat and fish) at the bottom of your fridge in a covered container. Never put cooked food on a plate that has been used for raw meat or poultry. Don’t leave food out or uncovered.
• Control food temperatures – keep the coldest part of your fridge between 32-41?F (use a fridge thermometer).
• Always follow instructions on cooking times and temperatures.
• Throw away any uneaten foods.
Tips for using ready made foods
• Check date marks – you must follow the use-by dates.
• Check safety seals are intact when first opening food packaging.
• Read labels and carefully follow all instructions on storage, preparation and cooking times and temperatures.
• Never leave foods in open cans.
Since a baby’s immune system is less developed than an adult’s that puts them at greater risk of illness so take extra care:
• For young babies, wash bottles with detergent in hot water, and then sterilize using sterilizing solution or a steam sterilizer.
• Always use cooled, boiled water when adding water to baby foods, milks and other drinks.
• Cook foods thoroughly until piping hot and cool rapidly until comfortable to eat.
Other Useful Tips
• Keep pets away from food and worktops.
• Prevent flies and other insects coming in contact with foods – keep them covered.
• Keep cleaning chemicals out of reach of children.
If you have any questions concerning food safety and your baby contact the Department of Environmental Health on 949-6696.