Food Safety

Young children are in a special group when it comes to food safety. Caregivers must follow proper food safety steps to safeguard the health of children. A child is more likely to have serious illness if exposed to a foodborne illness than most adults will experience. In some cases, children can develop life-threatening health problems or can even die from a foodborne illness.

Germs can spread easily in child care. Germs can spread from food to food, person to food, and equipment or work surface to food. Caregivers need to know and follow the recommended steps for cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting dishes, food prep, and food service areas. Careful attention to time and temperature helps reduce the risk of foodborne illness.  Both adults and children need to practice proper hand-washing to control the spread of germs.

CARE Connection: Food Safety resources

Serving Safe Food in Child Care resources, webinar series, and online course

Wash Your Hands - helpful mini-posters, booklet, and short video


U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) recommendations can be found in the Kitchen Companion: Your Safe Food Handbook