Basic Food Safety

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How to use this pack
Welcome to Safer food, better business for childminders
Is this pack for me? This pack is for you if you are a registered childminder or childcarer on domestic premises (where you look after children in your home) and you usually provide meals and drinks for the children in your care. It will help you comply with the law. Do you usually: • provide meals, snacks or drinks (apart from mains tap water) for children or babies? Yes No and /or • reheat food provided by a parent /carer, or cut it up? Yes No If you said yes to one or both of these questions, then this pack is for you. The law changed in 2006 and you must now comply with food safety and hygiene regulations. If you think this pack does not cover all the food preparation and cooking you do, contact the environmental health service at your local authority for advice. If no (you don’t usually do either of these things) and you just do the following, you do not have to use this pack: • keep packed lunches in your fridge that are brought by parents /carers and /or • provide plates and cutlery for the children to use to eat their own packed lunches and /or • only provide food occasionally, e.g. a birthday cake for one of the children, or if a parent/carer has been delayed in picking up a child If you are not sure whether to use this pack, contact the environmental health service at your local authority for advice. Home childcarers and nannies who look after children in the child’s home do not need to use this pack. If you run childcare on non-domestic premises, e.g. a nursery, you should use the pack called ‘Safer food, better business for caterers’. However, you may find some of the information in this pack useful, e.g. the advice on feeding babies and children.

How does this pack help me comply with the law?

Food safety and hygiene regulations say that you must be able to show what you do to make sure the food you provide for children and babies is safe to eat. You must also have this written down and the pack helps you to do this. This pack is based on the principles of HACCP (hazard analysis critical control point), but you will not find words such as ‘HACCP’ or ‘hazard’ in the pack because we have cut out all the jargon. The pack has been developed by the Food Standards Agency to be practical and easy to use, with as little paperwork as possible. There are also food hygiene requirements in the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation stage and other regulations that form part of your registration as a childminder/childcarer. In England you can get further information on these from Ofsted (the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills) or in Wales from the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales or in Scotland from the Care Commission. These requirements do not apply in Northern Ireland.

Who should take charge of the pack?

As a registered childminder/childcarer you should take charge of this pack. If you are already using Safer food, better business for caterers, you can continue using it if you prefer.

Can I use Safer food, better business for caterers instead?

CMIN1/08-09

How does the pack work?
The pack contains eight ‘safe method’ sheets and a diary. The safe methods are divided into four different sections, each with a different colour and symbol. The sections are named after ‘the 4 Cs’, which are the four main things to remember for good food hygiene: Cross-contamination, Cleaning, Chilling and Cooking. There is also a diary section.

Cross-contamination
Cross-contamination is one of the most common causes of food poisoning. It happens when harmful bacteria are spread onto food from other food, worktops, hands or equipment/utensils. These harmful bacteria often come from raw meat/poultry and eggs. Other sources of bacteria can include people, pests, pets, nappies and laundry. Food also needs protecting from ‘chemical contamination’ (where chemicals get into food, e.g. cleaning...
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