OTTAWA, Feb. 19, 2013 /CNW/ - Health Canada is reminding Canadians of
the importance of food safety for children ages five and under.
Children ages five and under are at an increased risk for complications
from food poisoning (foodborne illness). This is because their immune
systems are still developing and they are unable to fight off infection
as well as adults can. Young children also produce less of the stomach
acid that kills harmful bacteria, which makes it easier for them to get
It is estimated that there are approximately 11 million cases of
foodborne illnesses in Canada every year. Many of these cases could be
prevented by following proper food handling and preparation techniques.
While it's always important for Canadians to follow proper food safety
steps, it's especially important for parents and caregivers to pay
close attention to food safety for young children. To protect them from
getting sick, follow these key steps to food safety: Cook; Clean; Chill and Separate.
Cook - To prevent illness, it is extremely important to cook meat and poultry
to a safe internal temperature. Remember, visual cues like colour are not a guarantee that food is
safe. Don't guess! Use a digital food thermometer to check when meat and poultry are safe to eat.
Clean - Properly clean anything that comes in contact with the food (your hands,
kitchen surfaces and utensils, reusable grocery bags, etc.) and always have your children wash their hands before eating.
This will help eliminate bacteria and reduce your family's risk of
getting sick. In addition, fruits and vegetables should be washed under clean running water.
Chill - It is extremely important to keep cold food cold and hot food hot so
that your food never reaches the temperature "danger zone," which is
between 4oC and 60oC (40oF and 140oF). Defrosting raw meat, poultry and fish should be done in the
refrigerator, in the microwave, or immersed in cold water (replaced every 30 minutes), never at room
Separate - It is important to always separate your raw foods, such as meat and
eggs, from ready-to-eat foods, such as cooked meat and vegetables, to
Parents and caregivers should also pay close attention to what they are
feeding young children. Some foods are at a higher risk for foodborne
bacteria than others.
Do not give honey to a baby under one year old - it can cause a serious
type of food poisoning called infant botulism. Healthy children over
one year of age can safely eat honey because they have a very low risk
of developing infant botulism.
Make sure to cook hot dogs until they are steaming hot before young
children eat them.
Do not serve raw alfalfa or bean sprouts to young children.
Never give your child foods containing raw eggs (e.g. cookie dough, cake batter).
Avoid unpasteurized milk, juice and cider.
Don't eat raw or undercooked meat, poultry, fish or seafood.
For more information on food safety tips for children five and under,
Partnership for Consumer Food Safety Education
Stay connected with Health Canada and receive the latest advisories and
product recalls using social media tools.
SOURCE: Health Canada
For further information:
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