Food Poisoning is no laughing matter and because babies’ immune systems are still developing, they are particularly vulnerable. The consequences of food borne illness for babies are usually much greater, since they become weak and dehydrated at a much faster rate than adults.
Although food safety is always important, it is a good idea to take extra caution when feeding and preparing baby food. The majority of preventing food poisoning is keeping clean. Consistently washing hands, utensils and making sure all kitchen surfaces are sanitized before, during and after food prep is key to keeping a healthy home.
Here is a list of baby food safety tips that may not be considered common sense:
- Cook all meats through at a minimum internal temp of 160 degrees (F)
- Thaw frozen meats in the refrigerator overnight before cooking
- Keep the refrigerator set to under 40 degrees (F)
- Do not feed your baby any food that has been left out for more than 2 hours
- Do not feed straight from the jar – transfer a small portion of food to a separate bowl so germs from the baby’s saliva do not contaminate the uneaten portion
- Do not serve babies unpasteurized milk or juices
- Store foods in shallow containers so that they are chilled thoroughly
- Do not store opened food containers in the refrigerator for more than 3 days
- Check safety seals on all jars and containers – do not serve contents if containers are chipped, cracked or leaking
Taking the precautions above, such as checking the safety seal on baby food jars, will greatly reduce your baby’s chances of contracting a food borne illness, although, the only way to know exactly how your child’s food was prepared is to make it yourself. Home-made baby food is ideal if you have the option and is actually fairly simple to do. You can find great tools and recipes for each stage of the transformation to table food at cuisinart.com/baby