The Australian Dietary Guidelines provide information and evidence based advice on eating for health and wellbeing. There are 5 guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence, describing the best approach to eating for a long and healthy life.
Guideline number 5 is focussed on food safety and states ‘Care for your food, prepare and store it safely’.
Taking precautions to prepare and cook your food safely for you and your child is important in preventing illness. All food for human consumption needs to be stored, handled and cooked carefully and at temperatures that avoid the spread and growth of harmful bacteria that can make you sick.
There are 4 main areas of focus when it comes to food safety:
1. Cooking and cooling food
Cooking food properly and to the right temperature reduces the risk of food poisoning. Meats should be cooked all the way through, until the juices run clear and food should be kept steaming hot until served. Reheat foods only once and make sure all parts are again steaming hot. When ready to serve make sure the temperature is appropriate for your little one.
2. Food storage
Leftovers should be cooled quickly, covered and stored in the fridge or freezer, and refrigerated leftovers should be consumed in 1-2 days. Food stored cold needs to be kept at or below 5°C to prevent the growth of nasty bacteria that can cause food poisoning. Frozen food should be kept at -15°C or colder. The temperature danger zone for food safety is between 5°C and 60°C. Bacteria can’t grow easily at temperatures outside of this zone.
3. Avoiding contamination
Cross-contamination occurs when bacteria is transferred from one food to another, such as from raw food to cooked food that is ready to be eaten. This can be from hands, cutting boards or by cutlery, spoons or tongs. Have uniquely coloured chopping boards for raw and cooked foods.
Avoid cross-contamination in the fridge by storing raw and cooked foods separately in covered containers, put raw foods on a lower shelf ( such as meats that are thawing) to make sure nothing can drip onto already prepared foods . Always prepare raw and cooked food separately.
4. Washing your hands
It may seem simple however washing and drying hands properly is one of the most important steps ensuring food safety especially when preparing your child’s food. Bacteria from nose blowing, trips to the toilet, touching raw foods including eggs, meat and vegetables with soil on them and bacteria from wet hands can be transferred to foods ready to be eaten.
Safe preparation, use and storage of infant formula is of utmost importance for the health and wellbeing of babies and toddlers. All preparation of bottles, mixing of formula and instructions for storage are clearly listed on the label of all Farmers Beta A2 infant formulas and Nutritional Toddler milk. Similarly clear directions for preparation and storage are outlined on all products in the Farmers Beta A2 Family Nutrition Range.