This help centre article has been written for Koru Kids' Home Nursery service
Food hygiene training
All of our Early Educators undergo two food hygiene courses before they are allowed to open their home nursery.
The first is their introduction to food hygiene, which covers:
How to heat food safely
How to prepare milk safely
How to make sure the children in their care are adopting healthy lifestyles
The second is advanced food hygiene, which covers:
How to store and prepare food safely
Pest control and chemical contamination
How to keep food cold
How to cook and reheat food safely
Special advice for babies and children
All of our Early Educators are also registered as a food business with the Food Standards Agency, which means they will be routinely inspected on their food hygiene.
Below, you can find a summary of how Early Educators ensure good food hygiene in their home nurseries.
Heating food safely
Early Educators make sure that the cooked food that they offer has been heated to the correct temperature.
They always check that food is very hot (steaming) all the way through. The core temperature of the food should reach at least 75°C.
Preparing milk safely
Young babies do not have well developed immune systems and are particularly vulnerable to illnesses from bacteria and viruses, so Early Educators take extra care when preparing their milk.
If parents/carers bring made-up bottles of formula, they are put in the fridge straight away and are used within 24 hours.
Early Educators clean and sterilise bottles and teats before they use them.
This information has been taken directly from the NHS website.
Adopting healthy lifestyles
Early Educators provide a wealth of fruit and vegetables as part of the meals that they offer children.
Varied means they eat foods from every food group; protein from eggs, meat or fish, carbohydrates such as bread and pasta, essential fats from nuts, cheese and dairy and loads and loads of fruit and vegetables to get a range of vitamins and minerals.
They encourage children to ‘eat the rainbow’ - to try foods of every colour to get the widest variety of nutrients.
In our home nurseries, sugar is a treat but never a reward.
Sweets or cakes are never served as a regular snack.
Birthdays and special occasions are a nice time for children to be treated to sweets and cake, but Early Educators are advised to check with parents before they serve this to their children.
Sugar is never used as a reward as this can develop bad habits and associations.
Early Educators check all the ingredients of any meals and snacks they give to a child with a food allergy.
They keep a record of the ingredient information of any ready-made food and drink they use in the children’s food.
Early Educators keep a record of what meals they are serving their children.
They will display a weekly or monthly meal plan in their setting.
They keep details of what ingredients they buy and use in their food.
Other things to know
All Early Educators follow good personal hygiene to help prevent bacteria and viruses from spreading to food.
Early Educators always wash their hands properly before preparing and handling food or touching ready-to-eat food e.g. sandwiches.
They follow the NHS guidance for how to wash your hands effectively.
All children wash their hands before eating.
Food Storage and Preparation
All Early Educators store and prepare food carefully to keep sources of bacteria and allergens away from food preparation areas.
Food that contains allergens is kept separate from other food.
Raw food and ready-to-eat food are prepared on different surfaces with different equipment.
All pets are kept away from all food, dishes and worktops and away from children when they are eating.
Pest Control and Chemical Contamination
Early Educators regularly check for signs of pests and are trained in how to spot the most common types of pest.
Cleaning chemicals (e.g. bleach, detergents) are stored separately from food and are clearly labelled.
All cleaning and pest control products are kept out of reach of children.
Early Educators regularly clean and disinfect all items people touch frequently, such as worktops, sinks, taps, handles, switches and high chairs.
Keeping Food Cold & Defrosting
Early Educators are trained to keep certain foods cold, and how to safely freeze or defrost food.
Cooking and Reheating Safely
Early Educators are trained to thoroughly cook food and the importance of reheating food properly.
Babies and children - special advice
Early Educators are advised to make up formula milk freshly for each feed.
Expressed breast milk is stored in the fridge and used within 24 hours.
Early Educators are advised not to give honey to children under one year old.
Very occasionally, honey can contain a type of harmful bacteria that can produce toxins in a baby’s intestines and this can cause serious illness.
Early Educators are advised not to give shark, swordfish and marlin to babies and young children.
These fish contain relatively high levels of mercury, which might affect a child’s developing nervous system.
Early Educators are advised not to give raw shellfish to babies and young children.
Raw shellfish can contain harmful viruses and bacteria.
Early Educators are advised not to give babies or young children frozen vegetables or fruits that are not ‘ready to eat’, e.g. in mesh feeders to help teething and weaning.
This is because frozen vegetables (e.g. sweetcorn) and frozen fruit that are not cooked or washed properly can contain harmful bacteria.
Early Educators are advised to keep their home nursery settings 'nut free'. This means that they should not serve preparations containing nuts to the children.
They have also been advised to be mindful of the cross-contamination that could happen when they consume nuts in their house during their personal time.
Please speak with your Early Educator directly to confirm whether this is the case for their setting.