Baby food can be purchased for less than a dollar at a grocery store. It makes a great test subject; however, make sure you use the same sized jar and food type when conducting multiple experiments.
Test bacteria on any surface with the Surface Microbes Science Fair Projects Kit: after hand sanitizer, hands, disinfectant for example. You can use antibiotics to test the bacteria too. Anytime you want to test how many bacteria are On Top of a surface like a desk, skin, chicken, computer keyboard, bread dough, a hard piece of chocolate, cheese, inside of an animal's cheek, etc. then use the surface experimenter kit. The kit will let you calculate how many bacteria there are per unit surface area on the object. You can also test for e-coli, however, only the microbe water kit will let you distinguish e. coli from other coli forms and bacteria.
Unlike adults, baby’s immune systems are unable to fight off harmful bacteria. The mouth is the most common way bacteria enters their immune system. I was wondering if baby food would become unusable if left out on the counter, and if so, how long it would take for the food to go bad. I wanted to know this because I see parents reuse baby food all the time; sometimes they put it in the refrigerator and sometimes they don't depending on what's convenient. I hypothesized that refrigeration would decrease the bacteria on the baby food and that the beef type would have the most growth. I also thought that as the time increased so would the amount of bacteria. Methods/Materials
I tested this problem by taking 4 types of baby food, beef, fruit, vegetable, and juice that had been left out over a period of time (5 different intervals). Half my tests were refrigerated and half were left on the counter in room temperature. I then inoculated a small sample of baby food onto a blood agar plate and incubated the plates for 48 hours at 38 degrees Celsius. Then I counted the bacteria spores for my results. To control my experiment I worked under a lab hood, wore latex gloves, and used the same brand of baby food for each test. In this experiment the independent variables are the types of baby food, the amount of time left out, and whether it was refrigerated. The dependent variable is the amount of bacteria growth. Results
After analyzing my data I concluded that it is not safe to leave baby food out. As the time it sat out increased, so did the amount of bacteria found in it, refrigeration only slightly decreased bacteria growth, and the food containing meat had the most bacteria.
Baby Food and Infant Formula
Infants and young children are particularly vulnerable to food borne illness because their immune systems are not developed enough to fight off infections. That's why extra care should be taken when handling and preparing their food and formula.
The most important action that you can take to prevent food borne illness in your babies and children is to wash your hands. Your hands can pick up harmful bacteria from pets, raw foods (meat, poultry, seafood, eggs), soil, and diapers.
Always wash your hands:
• Before and after handling food
• After using the bathroom, changing diapers, or handling pets.
Other ways to keep your baby’s food safe:
• Check the packaging of commercial baby food before serving: The following may indicate that the food is contaminated or at risk of bacterial contamination: o For jars: Make sure that the safety button on the lid is down. o Discard any jars that don’t “pop” when opened or that have chipped glass or rusty lids. o For plastic pouches: Discard any packages that are swelling or leaking. • Don’t “double dip” with baby food: Never put baby food in the refrigerator if the baby doesn’t finish it. Your best bet: Don’t feed your baby directly from the jar of baby food. Instead,...