Food Safety (Child Care Manual)

By handling food safely, you can prevent or reduce the burden of food-borne illness in your child care centre.

Training

Food handlers trained in safe food-handling practices and principles can quickly respond to unsafe food handling practices, food recalls, consumer complaints and food-related issues arising from floods, fires or power outages.

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Dishwashing methods

Wash dishes and utensils according to one of these manual or mechanical methods.

Manual dishwashing method

Two-compartment sink

Use this method only if the cooking utensils, pots and pans are not used by the children.

  • First sink: Wash dishes and utensils with soap and warm water
  • Second sink: Rinse dishes and utensils with clean water. Sanitize dishes and utensils by fully immersing them in a sanitizing solution.

Three-compartment sink

  • First sink: Wash dishes and utensils with soap and warm water
  • Second sink: Rinse dishes and utensils with clean water
  • Third sink: Sanitize dishes and utensils by fully immersing them in a sanitizing solution

Mechanical dishwashing method

Commercial dishwasher

If you operate a small child care centre, talk to your public health inspector about the need for a commercial dishwasher.

  • Wash water must be maintained at a temperature between 60 C to 71 C
  • Sanitizing can be accomplished by:
    • A rinse cycle that sprays clean water at a temperature not lower than 82 C for at least 10 seconds
    • A rinse cycle that sprays an acceptable sanitizing solution

Acceptable sanitizing solutions

The following sanitizing solutions can be used on contact surfaces or when dishwashing plates and utensils:

  • Chlorine solution of not less than 100 parts per million (1:500 mixture of bleach and water) for at least 45 seconds
  • Quaternary ammonium compound solution of not less than 200 parts per million for at least 45 seconds
  • Commercial sanitizers used in accordance with manufacturer’s directions
  • Sanitizer test strips are required to ensure that your sanitizing solution is the correct strength

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Storing food

Refrigerated storage

  • Refrigerate all hazardous foods such as meat, poultry, fish, cooked rice and dairy products because they can grow disease-causing organisms
  • Arrange food containers in the refrigerator so that air circulates freely. Don't overcrowd the refrigerator.
  • Routinely clean and disinfect all interior surfaces, racks, and trays of the refrigerator

Dry storage

  • Keep non-refrigerated food storage areas clean, dry, well ventilated and adequately lighted
  • Rotate foods in storage (first in, first out)
  • Store foods on shelves at least 15 centimetres (six inches) above the floor to prevent cross contamination and allow for cleaning
  • Use non-absorbent, easy-to-clean shelving
  • Routinely clean and sanitize all food storage areas
  • Store opened products in sealed vermin-proof containers
  • Label all food containers
  • Keep non-food items, especially cleaning products, insecticides, mops and brooms, in a separate area away from foods

Food source

  • Ensure foods come from inspected and approved sources only
  • Do not serve foods prepared in private homes. An exemption is allowed for a parent that provides an individual meal to their child. Breastmilk, milk or formula from a private home can be supplied to a designated child provided it is properly stored and labelled.

Food samples

  • Take samples of each hazardous food from every meal and keep them for 10 days. Food samples may be kept by your food caterer on your behalf. Keep a letter on site from your food caterer regarding this arrangement.
  • Freeze or refrigerate food samples
  • During a gastroenteritis outbreak, keep food samples until the outbreak is declared over by Public Health
  • Keep these sizes of food samples:
    • Solid food - minimum 200 grams (7 oz)
    • Liquid food - minimum 200 ml (7 oz)

Waste disposal

  • Ensure garbage containers are able to store all garbage that is generated between collection days
  • Choose durable plastic or metal garbage containers with tight-fitting lids
  • Routinely clean and sanitize all garbage containers

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Last updated: Sept. 30, 2019

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