Clean living: Good hygiene and habits

You can never be too safe with your food, especially when your baby is young and their immune system is still developing. Here are a few tips to help you out:

  • Clean, clean and clean – Before preparing food, wash your hands well with hot water and soap and dry thoroughly with a clean towel. Make sure your kitchen and your utensils are kept clean too.

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  • Serving baby food – Use a clean spoon and place the portion of baby food needed in a separate feeding bowl. If you wish to warm fresh homemade or commercial baby food, place bowl in a container of hot water. Stir the food until the desired temperature is reached. Test the temperature with another spoon on the back of your wrist before serving. Avoid tasting food from the same spoon you feed baby with, as you can pass on bacteria. 
  • Leftovers – When you baby has finished eating, always throw away any leftover food from the bowl or jar that baby has been fed directly from. This is because the bacteria in saliva can contaminate the rest of the food and make baby sick.
  • Storage – Cover and store remaining unused food for your baby in the fridge for up to 48 hours. Store at the back of the refrigerator where it’s coldest and your fridge should be below 4°C. 
  • Freezing – If you are making up a larger amount of baby food, once your baby’s food has cooled down, freeze it as soon as possible. Your freezer should be -18ºC or below. Freeze in covered small portions like ice-cube trays and once frozen pop out cubes and store in a sealed freezer bag. Make sure you label and date food, so you know when you made it. Use frozen baby food within 3-4 weeks. 
  • Thawing – Just defrost the number of food cubes for a single meal. You can let it thaw in the fridge before a meal, or defrost it in the microwave or heat from frozen in a saucepan. 
  • Reheating – Whether you are heating food in a saucepan or microwaving it, always reheat foods until they are piping hot to destroy any bacteria. Reheat thoroughly while stirring well.  Let it cool down to lukewarm, stir food well to make sure there are no hot spots. Always check the temperature of food before giving it to your baby. An adult should test the temperature with another spoon by placing a spoon of food on the back of the wrist – it shouldn’t feel hot.  
  • Avoid the refreeze or reheating again – Don’t refreeze meals that have already been frozen, and always throw away any of your baby's reheated leftovers.

Other food safety tips:

  • Always give your fruit and vegetables a wash first before preparing.
  • Don’t give babies honey or raw eggs, and always well-cook eggs.
  • Keeping separate chopping boards for raw meats and cooked foods is a good idea and a really simple way to avoid food contamination.

 

The materials published on this website are of a general nature and have been provided for informational purposes only. Always consult your medical practitioner or a qualified health provider for any further advice in relation to the topics discussed.

 

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