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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

10 food safety tips for our young ones

When the symptoms of food poisoning come a rumbling, they can range from discomfort to downright debilitating, especially when those spasms are racking the little ones. Share these 10 easy-to-swallow food safety tips with your kids now. They'll thank you for it.

Wash your hands
Tip 1 - This is the way I wash my hands
Do get your kids to wash their hands thoroughly with soaps before eating, after touching pets, or after a trip to the bathroom. Hands are one of the most common medium for breeding micro-organisms. The bacteria then get transferred to food. If ingested, harmful germs can act up. Sometimes within hours. No-rinse, fuss free sanitising gels are also a great alternative for children on the go.

Tip 2 - Close those water bottles
Teach your child to keep their water bottles closed after drinking. This will prevent contaminants from entering their drinking water. Liquid-borne micro-organisms are just as capable of causing food poisoning.

Tip 3 - Check expiry dates
Always check expiry dates. Kids need to know this, especially when it comes to produce such as milk and other dairy products; these items are more likely to turn bad faster, especially once the packaging has been opened.

Wash those Vegies

Tip 4 - Wash
Encourage children to wash fruits and vegetables before packing them into lunch boxes. Show them how they can soak vegetables in clean tap water for 15 minutes to remove unwanted dirt. This will do the job without the need for fancy washes or detergents. Trim bruised portions to remove harmful bacteria present in these area.

Tip 5 - Good hygiene
When it comes to eating in school, let your kids know that it's important to buy only from canteen vendors who have clean and tidy stalls, and who are well-groomed and properly attired. Food handlers who practice good hygiene and maintain a clean environment reduce the risk of food contamination.

Tip 6 - Out with that!
When in doubt, throw it out. It's never a good idea to consume food that might be spoiled. Reheating dubious food may not always do the job either. The toxins of some bacteria won't get destroyed even during the reheating process. Toss out cans that are rusty, bulging or dented and reject products that look or smell bad.

Tip 7 - Microwave-safe
Practise microwave-safe food habits. Teach kids not to microwave with containers that are not specially made for microwave use. Minute particles form the plastic can migrate to food at high temperatures which may lead to health complications. Opt for microwave-safe glassware instead.

Avoid Raw Meat
Tip 8 - Avoidance
It's best to avoid some food altogether. Food poisoning can be especially severe for young children so take extra care. Avoid raw or rare meat, raw or undercooked shellfish, eggs, unpasteurised milk and dairy products, as well as uncooked deli meats.

Tip 9 - Safe Temperature
Keep food at a "safe" temperature. Food is most easily contaminated between 5 degree Celsius and 60 degree Celsius. Keep hot food hot and cold food cold to prevent bacteria from multiplying. Purchase insulated food bags and a thermos. These are great for kids to store lunch.

Tip 10 - Cool it is
When it comes to chilling out, teach kids to keep an eye out for self-service refrigerators that drinks and desserts are stored. These should be cold enough so that there is no condensation on the food or food packets. Cold food must be kept cold to prevent harmful bacteria form multiplying so give those that are lukewarm a miss.

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Blogger Jaanvi said...

yet another good article from you... :)

July 17, 2008 at 4:01 PM  
Blogger TKHudson said...

Ugh, we make our own baby food, and we are always throwing stuff out. Mostly because we're irresponsible and don't label the food jars with a date, so we're like "uhh, honey, when did you make that squash?" And if no one remembers, out it goes!


July 18, 2008 at 3:26 AM  
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July 19, 2008 at 1:34 AM  
Blogger Sue said...

Great tips. I am a freak about washing my hands, I wash them constantly because that's the number one way to get germs. I use the hand sanitizer too, when nothing else is available. I really should try to instill this in my kids more,I don't think they are practicing that or probably some of these other tips Getting sick from food poisoning can be really stink.

July 19, 2008 at 10:40 AM  
Blogger The Healthy Mom said...

Great tips. I always make sure my kids wash their hands before every meal. Thank you for sharing!

July 24, 2008 at 7:49 AM  

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