Kids & Company Blog

Food Safety

We want to protect our kiddies and families as much as possible and food is no exception! There are an abundance of rules to remember when it comes to keeping your food safe and fresh for as long as possible and it sure can get confusing! It’s great to teach your kids tips and rules about food safety so you can be sure they will make the right choices when they are old enough to feed themselves! You can even try putting reminders around the kitchen to teach your kids how to ensure that the food they’re eating is handled properly. Here is a list of food safety reminders and some tips on how to avoid contamination:

1. The danger zone is a temperature range where foods are at a high risk of contamination. This range is between 4°C and 60°C. If foods are not colder than 4°C or hotter than 60°C they will grow bacteria quickly. Here are some tips:

• Room temperature falls in the danger zone!

• When allowing cooked foods to cool down before putting them in the fridge, don’t let them sit out for longer than 2 hours at room temperature.

• When entertaining or serving food, don’t let any cooked foods sit at room temperature for more than 2 hours.

• When reheating foods, make sure ALL of it reaches a temperature above 60°C, be sure to check the internal temperature in the centre and not just near the edges!

• Foods at the highest risk of contamination are animal products such as meat, dairy and eggs. Never store these items in the door of your fridge because whenever the fridge is opened the temperature rises!

2. Meat is the most susceptible food group to contamination! There are lots of rules and tips to keep in mind when handling meat:

• When purchasing meat, put it at the bottom of your grocery cart and package meat in its own bag so that juices don’t drip onto your other foods!

• If you freeze your meat: divide portions up in the amount you plan to use. It is a food safety hazard if you thaw meat and don’t cook it right away! Meat cannot be thawed then refrozen.

• Buy a meat thermometer! Even the best chefs can’t tell when meat is properly cooked. Remember that poultry, pork and all ground meat must be completely cooked through. Whole cuts of other meats like beef can be served rare but there is always more risk of contamination.

• Meat should be thawed in the microwave or the refrigerator- NOT on the counter! Remember: room temperature is in the danger zone, so leaving your meat out leaves it at risk.

3. Stay clean! Keep absolutely everything that touches susceptible foods sanitized. Be sure you have sanitizer on hand at all times! You can buy sanitizer or make it with 1 tsp of bleach mixed with 3 cups of water in a spray bottle. Be sure to wash your hands, knives, counters, pans and anything else that touches susceptible foods thoroughly right after using it!

• Never use a reusable dish cloth to wipe off surfaces after cooking because contaminants can transfer onto the cloth then get spread when it is used again!

• It’s a good idea to keep separate cutting boards for meat and vegetables to prevent cross contamination.

Follow these neat tips to help keep your family safe and eating healthy, delicious food! Check out Health Canada for more information and food safety tips here!

From our kitchen to yours…… Enjoy!

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @kidcochildcare and on Instagram @cheflisaruscica!

Cheers,

Chef Lisa Ruscica

Chief Food Ambassador

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