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1.This document is FCS 8543, one of a series of the Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, Florida Cooperative Ext ension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florid a. Publication date: December 2001. First published as Keep Your Infants Food Safe : November 1996. Revised: December 2001. Please visit the EDIS Web site at http://edis.ifas.ufl.eduThe Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is an equal oppor tunity/affirmative action employer authorized to provide resea rch, educational information and other services onl y to individuals and institutions that f unction without regard to race, color, se x, age, handicap, or national origin. For information on obtaining other extens ion publications, contact your c ounty Cooperative Extension Servi ce office. Florida Cooperative Extension Service / Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences / Un iversity of Florida / Christine Taylor Waddill, Dean 2.Original written by Mark Tamplin, PhD, fo rmer Associate Professor, Food Safety; re vised by Amy Simonne, PhD, Assistant Profe ssor, Food Safety and Quality, and reviewed by Linda B. Bobroff, PhD, RD, LD/N, Asso ciate Professor, Foods and Nutr ition and Isabel Valentin-Oquend o, MS, RD, LD/N, Assistant-In and Curriculum Coordinator, Family Nutrition Program, Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, Cooperat ive Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, 32611. FCS8543Keep Your Baby's Food Safe1Amy Simonne and Mark Tamplin2Bacteria and other germs can make foods unsafe. You cannot see or smell germs. If germs get into food, this can cause a foodborne illness. Your baby has a greater risk for a foodborne illness than you do. This is because your baby is smaller, with an immune system that is still developing. You can help protect your baby from foodborne illness by handling foods safely. To keep your baby's food safe, follow food safety rules when buying, storing and preparing foods. This publication will tell you how to: Buy safe foods for your baby. Store your baby's food safely at home. Prepare your baby's food safely. Keep and prepare leftovers safely. Be aware of hazardous foods that you should not feed to your baby.Buy Safe Foods for Your BabyHarmful germs that can make your baby sick can get into foods through cracks and openings in food packages. So, only buy baby foods in undamaged packages. Do not buy cans that have dents or bulges. Reject packages that are torn or damaged, or glass jars that are cracked or have loose lids. Baby food jars have a safety button on the lid. Check each jar to be sure the button is down. Do not buy or use jars if the safety button is popped up. While you shop, keep raw meat packages away from other foods. Raw meats and their juices have germs that can make your baby sick.
Keep Your Baby's Food Safe Page 2 December 2001 Put raw meats into plastic bags so that juices do not touch vegetables and fruits. Be sure that the person who bags your food keeps raw meats separate from other foods. Baby formula and baby foods have dates printed on the cans or jars. The expiration dates tell us how long the foods are safe to eat. Check the dates at the store and at home to make sure the foods are still safe. Do not use any food or formula after the expiration date has passed. Store Your Baby's Food Safely at Home Store unopened formula and baby foods in a dry, cool area. Do not store your baby's food next to any appliance that heats up. Check the expiration dates and safety buttons before feeding any food to your baby. Never keep perishable foods at room temperature for more than 2 hours. Store finger foods for your baby properly. If you have any doubts about baby food or formula... THROW IT OUT! See Table 1 for Safe Storage of Baby Food When traveling with baby: Put bottles and foods in an insulated cooler or ice chest. Put the ice chest in the passenger compartment of the car. It is cooler than in the trunk. Use frozen gel packs to keep food or bottles cold on long outings. Do not keep bottles or food in the same bag with dirty diapers!Prepare Your Baby's Foods Safely Make sure that you and your kitchen are clean before you prepare baby food. Always wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds (Sing "Happy Birthday" one time). Use hot water and soap to wash utensils used to prepare food. Avoid spreading germs in your kitchen. Plastic cutting boards are easier to clean than wooden boards. Clean counters, cutting boards and sinks before and after you prepare food. Use a clean cloth and hot soapy water. Always wash the tops of cans and your can opener before preparing canned baby foods and formula.Preparing Baby Formula Let chlorinated tap water run for 2 minutes before using. Only use cold tap water. Hot tap water may contain lead. If warm or hot water is needed, heat water from the cold tap on the stove or in the microwave. Bring water to a rolling boil; then cool, or use bottled water. Fill bottle with just enough iron-fortified formula for one feeding.
Keep Your Baby's Food Safe Page 3 December 2001 Table 1. Safe Storage of Baby Food NOTE: Don't leave baby food solids or liquids out at room temperature for more than 2 hours. LIQUIDSSOLIDS opened or freshly made RefrigeratorFreezerRefrigeratorFreezer Expressed breast milk 5 days3 to 4 monthsStrained fruits and vegetables (commercial) 2 to 3 days6 to 8 months Formula2 daysnot recommended Strained meats and eggs (commercial) 1 day1 to 2 months Whole milk*5 days3 monthsMeat/vegetable combinations (commercial) 1 to 2 days1 to 2 months Reconstituted evaporated milk* 3 to 5 daysnot recommended Homemade baby foods 1 to 2 days3 to 4 months SPECIAL HANDLINGSPECIAL HANDLING 1.For shelf storage of unopened cans of formula, observe "Use by" dates printed on containers. Store evaporated milk up to 12 months. 2.Heat liquid in hot tap water, not in the microwave. 3.Shake bottle before testing the temperature on top of your hand. 4.Discard any unused milk left in a bottle. *Whole or reconstituted evaporated milk are for children ages 1 and older only. 1.Observe "Use by" date for shelf storage of unopened jars. 2.Check to see that the safety button in lid is down. If the jar lid does not "pop" when opened or is not sealed safely, do not use. 3.Do not heat meats, meat sticks, eggs or jars of food in the microwave. 4.Transfer food from jars to bowls or heating dish. For 4 ounces of food, microwave on high 15 seconds; stir and let stand 30 seconds. 5.Stir, and then test the temperature of the foods before feeding baby. 6.Don't feed baby food from the jar. Never leave prepared formula out of the refrigerator for more than 2 hours. Throw out any formula left in the bottle after feeding your baby. Always wash bottles with hot, soapy water after each use. Rinse well with hot water. Never heat baby's milk in a microwave. The milk can become too hot and burn baby's mouth.Preparing Baby FoodsSolid food should be given to babies after they are 4 to 6 months old. Before this age, breast milk or iron-fortified formula is the only food your baby needs. Do not serve baby food directly from a jar. Put a small amount in a dish and feed your baby from the dish. It is not necessary to heat baby food.
Keep Your Baby's Food Safe Page 4 December 2001If you have any questions about baby food safety, contact: Your local County Extension Office. The number is in the blue pages of your telephone book. Your local WIC office Your baby's doctor The Food and Drug Administration. The address is: Food and Drug Administration 5600 Fishers Lane Rockville, MD 20857 or by telephone: 1-888-463-6332 Label the food left in the jar with the date it was opened. Store it in the refrigerator and use within 2 days. Do not feed your baby raw or undercooked meats. Cook table foods until they are steaming hot (165F). This will kill germs. Be sure to cool the food before feeding it to your baby. You can grind table foods to make them soft for your baby to chew. However, do not chew your baby's food to soften it. Your mouth has germs that can make your baby sick.Keep and Prepare Leftovers Safely Label and keep baby formula covered in the refrigerator after it is mixed. Throw out unused, open formula after 2 days. You can store breast milk in the refrigerator for 5 days or freeze it for 3-4 months. Label leftover baby food with the date it was opened or prepared and stored in the refrigerator. If it is still unused after1-3 days (see Table 1), THROW IT OUT! Always throw away partially eaten foods. Do not put them back in the refrigerator they contain germs!Hazardous Foods You Should Not Feed to Your BabySome foods are more likely to make your baby sick if not handled properly. Never feed raw honey to your baby. Cook meat, poultry and seafood thoroughly before feeding them to your baby. Make sure meat and poultry are not pink inside. Make sure cooked fish is flaky.Keep Your Baby's Food SafeIt is difficult to tell if your baby's food is unsafe, because it may look and smell the same as other foods. So, be safe when shopping and preparing foods for your baby. If you think food might be unsafe, do not taste it. THROW IT AWAY! It is better to be safe than sorry.