As you start thinking about the exciting new world of weaning, it’s important not to forget that any food you serve needs to be safe. Babies and young children don’t have the same immune system as us adults (or even older children) so we need to make sure we’re extra careful with their little tummies!
It is estimated that there are 2.4million cases of food borne illness in the UK every year so here are some of my top tips on what you can do whilst cooking, reheating and defrosting food to help make sure the food you serve your little ones is safe!
When preparing food for your little one, making sure you’re preparing food on a clean surface, with clean hands, using clean equipment is essential!
- Wash your hands – Always wash your hands thoroughly before preparing any food, and after handling raw meat
- Clean work surfaces – Disinfect food preparation surfaces using a clean dishcloth before starting any food preparation. If you can, use a paper towel squirted with anti-bacterial spray to clean surfaces after preparing raw meat and poultry as this will help make sure that you don’t pick up food poisoning germs and spread them around the kitchen!
- Clean utensils – Make sure equipment is clean before you start using it and if you can, opt for colour coded equipment to reduce the risk of cross contamination between raw and ready to eat foods. Never prepare ready to eat food such as salad on a board that was previously used to prepare raw meat.
- Wash fruit and Veg – They might be low risk foods, but bacteria can also be found on fruit and veggies too so don’t forget to wash these thoroughly under cold running water before serving to baby. If you’re using frozen veggies in baby’s food, make sure that these are cooked before serving to your baby according to the back of pack information.
- Don’t be tempted to wash raw chicken! Washing your chicken will not ‘wash off’ the bacteria (only cooking will make it safe to eat!). If you wash chicken, you are instead more likely to cause food poisoning by inadvertently spreading more bacteria around the kitchen.
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