Ensuring Safe and Healthy Food Handling for the Childcare Industry

In the service industry, ensuring utmost customer satisfaction is always a top priority. However, one of the customer groups that requires extra attention are children in childcare centres. Serving them with nutritious, healthy, and safe food is a must, not only to satisfy their needs, but also to promote their health and well-being.
So if a food business has a food safety program, they will need to have a Food Safety Supervisor and all other staff serving food should have a Level 1 Food Safety certificate.
This is where food safety programs come in. According to the Australian Standard, food businesses that process food for service in a childcare setting must implement a documented and audited food safety program. In this blog, we’ll dig deeper into what these programs are, why they’re essential, and how they can help ensure the safety and health of children in your care.
What are food safety programs for childcare?
Simply put, a food safety program is a documented system outlining the measures a food business takes to ensure food safety. It includes details on the processes, procedures, and policies that the business follows when preparing, cooking, storing, and serving food.
A food safety program is tailored to the specific business, and is developed based on the type of food served, the customers served, and the regulatory requirements.
And is applicable to a facility which is not a private residential dwelling, is designated for the purpose of childcare, and provides long day care, employer sponsored childcare, or occasional care, for children four years of age or less.
Why are food safety programs essential for childcare?
Food safety programs are essential, particularly for childcare businesses, because they help prevent the risk of food borne illnesses. Young children are susceptible to food borne illnesses, which can be life-threatening. Additionally, in the event of an outbreak, children are more likely to become severely ill, which could lead to hospitalisation or even death.
Some of the processes that a food safety program covers include identifying potential hazards in food preparation, implementing controls to remove or reduce these hazards, developing a cleaning and sanitation process, and employee training.
With these measures, businesses can assure the quality and safety of food served within childcare facilities.
What are some of the requirements of a food safety program?
The requirements of a food safety program can vary depending on the business and the food they prepare, cook, and serve. However, there are some fundamental elements that every food safety program should have.
First and foremost, the program must indicate who is responsible for food safety management within the business. It should also include documented procedures to ensure that the food served meets the highest safety and quality standards. This includes food handling procedures, employee hygiene, cleaning and sanitation procedures, and pest control.
A food safety program also requires regular monitoring, verification, and corrective action when necessary. This involves consistent testing, documentation, and review of the safety practices to ensure they are effective continually.
What are the benefits of implementing a food safety program?
Implementing a food safety program has many benefits.
  1. It ensures the safety and health of children who are more susceptible to food borne illnesses.
  2. It helps promote child safety and satisfaction as parents will feel secure about their children eating at the centre.
  3. Additionally, it improves the reputation of the childcare centre by demonstrating a commitment to food safety and quality.
  4. Finally, by reducing the risk of food borne illnesses and preventing food wastage, the childcare centre can save on expenses associated with legal claims, recalls, or asset damage.

A food safety program is a vital component of any childcare business that prepares and serves food to children. By outlining the procedures that ensure the safety and quality of the food provided, childcare centres can protect their children’s health and well-being. By monitoring, verifying, and taking corrective actions, childcare centres can continue to assure the safety and quality of food served while also benefiting from cost savings and parent satisfaction.

With the implementation of a food safety program, your childcare business can guarantee that the vulnerable children in their care will receive nutritious and healthy food they need and deserve.

Book your childcare food safety training today!