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KEEP YOUR INFANT'S FOOD SAFE

Bacteria and other germs can make foods unsafe. You cannot see or smell germs. If they contaminate food, this can cause a foodborne illness.

Your infant has a greater risk for a foodborne illness than you do. This is because your infant is smaller, with an immune system that is still developing.

You can help prevent your infant from getting a foodborne illness by handling foods safely.

You can keep your infant's food safe by following certain rules when buying, storing and preparing foods.

Buying Your Infant's Foods

Be aware of certain foods that should not be fed to your infant

Harmful germs that can make your infant 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, 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 other their juices contain germs that can make your baby sick. Put raw meats in plastic bags at the store so that juices do not touch vegetables and fruits. Check that the person who bags your food at the checkout counter keeps the meats away from vegetables and fruits.

Infant formula and infant foods have dates printed on the cans or jars. These expiration dates tell how long the foods are still safe. It is important to check the dates on the jars at the store, and at home, to make sure they are still safe. Do not use any food or formula after the expiration date has passed.

How to Safely Store Your Infant's Food

Be Clean...Be Safe

Make sure that you and your kitchen are clean before you prepare any baby food. Always wash your hands with soap and warm water. Also, use hot water and soap to wash any utensils used to prepare food.

Preparing Infant Formula

Preparing Baby Foods

Solid food should be given to babies after they are 4 to 6 months old. Before this age, breast milk or formula is the only food your infant needs.

Do not serve infant food directly from a jar. Put a small amount in a dish and feed from the dish. The food left in the jar should be labeled with the date it was opened, stored in the refrigerator and used within 2 days.

Do not feed your infant raw or undercooked meats. Cook table foods until they are steaming hot (165° F)...this will kill germs. Be sure to cool the food before feeding it to your child.

You can grind table foods to make them soft for your infant to chew. However, do not chew your infant's food to soften it. Your mouth could have germs that might make your infant sick.

Handling Leftovers

Infant formula should be labeled and kept covered in the refrigerator after it is mixed. Unused opened formula should be thrown out after 2 days. Breast milk can be stored in the refrigerator for 5 days or frozen for 2-3 months.

Leftover infant food should be labeled with the date it was opened or prepared, then stored in the refrigerator. If it is still unused after 2 days, THROW IT OUT!

Partially eaten foods always should be thrown away. Do not return them to the refrigerator...they contain germs.

Hazardous Foods

Some foods are more likely to cause your infant to get sick if improperly handled. Raw honey should never be fed to your infant.

Other foods like meats, poultry and seafood need to be cooked thoroughly before feeding them to your infant. Meats and poultry should not be pink inside. Fish should be flaky.

Keep Your Infant's Food Safe

It is difficult to tell if your infant's food is unsafe because it may look and smell the same as other foods. So, be safe when shopping and preparing foods.

If you think food might be unsafe, do not taste it. THROW IT AWAY. It is better to be safe than sorry.

Provided by: National Food Safety Database


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