Learning about a range of new foods is great for the development
of young bodies and brains but exploring safely should always be first priority.
There are some really well known food safety tips for under
Cut small fruits such as grapes, berries and tomatoes lengthways, then into quarters
Steam or boil firm vegetables like carrots, yams or broccoli
Remove bones from meat and fish
Don’t give whole nuts
But did you know that foods that foods such as bread, jelly and marshmallows could also could create choking hazards? We’ve created the free ‘Guide to Early Years Catering’, for advice about safe foods for little ones, nutrition for under 5s, menu planning and much more
Everyone knows the 5 second rule – as long as you pick it up
in less than 5 seconds, it’s safe to eat food you’ve dropped on the floor.
Let’s set this one straight – that’s outrageous! Good food hygiene
is all about keeping dangerous pathogens out of the food we eat. And however
hard we try, no-one’s floor is genuinely so clean you could eat your dinner off
it. So, don’t rely on the 5 second rule.
There are lots of great rules you can use in your kitchen
though. It’s worthwhile knowing the key facts and figures; and if you work in a
commercial kitchen, you’ll need to work these into your HACCP plan.
Some effective rules are:
Wash your hands thoroughly for 2 minutes before each new kitchen task
Avoid the pathogenic danger zone of 8-60 oC
Cook food to 70 oC for at least 2 minutes
For more info, have a look at our Level 2 HACCP course, and learn about setting up a Food Safety Management System for your kitchen
What’s the most deadly tool you use in your kitchen?
Kitchen knife? No
Mandolin? It’s tricky to handle, but no.
The kitchen mixer with the dodgy electrical cable? We don’t
recommend using this one – but it’s not as deadly as….
Your mobile phone!
Repeated studies have shown that most mobile phones carry a
zoo full of germs, including nasties such as Streptococcus, Staphylococcus and E.coli. But we scroll
without thinking in between cooking tasks, running the risk that we spread
these pathogens through our food to the people we cook for.
Ideally, to cut the risk of cross-contamination, keep your mobile phone out of the kitchen, but if that doesn’t work, make sure you wash your hands thoroughly every time you pick it up. To learn more about the hidden dangers lurking in your kitchen, have a look at our Level 2 Food Hygiene Course
With rising food costs and threats of supply issues, we’re all
becoming increasingly aware of food waste. So making best use of your freezer
makes good sense.
But what are the rules on freezing food? What are the
deadlines you must stick to in order to keep food safe?
Freezing food prolongs its use by pausing the effects of harmful bacteria – most bacteria cannot be destroyed by the freezing process. Use-by dates indicate food safety; a product that has passed its use-by date could already be unsafe to eat so you cannot freeze food after the use-by date has passed.
When freezing foods, use information on the product label to work out how long it can be frozen. Defrost in the fridge, then cook thoroughly using safe times and temps and eat within 24 hours. Have a look at our Level 2 Food Hygiene course for more info about the rules for cooking safely