Food Brought from Home Policy

Rationale:

At St Dominic Savio Early Learning Centre, we recognise the cultural and religious diversity of the families enrolled at St Dominic’s. Parents send in the main meal for their children with their own cultural food. We respect and rejoice in the richness of the different variety of food children bring into the centre.

We believe that Food Safely is one of the important principles of children’s services so that following a Food Safety Program and practising Food Safety Handling helps us to provide high quality care for children and families.

Sources:

www.earlychildhoodaustralia.org.au
www.rch.org.au
http://www.foodstandards.gov.au
www.csnews.com.au
www.chw.edu.au
www.kidsafe.com.au
www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au
Staying Healthy in Child Care , NHMRC, 2001: http://www.health.gov.au/nhmrc/
Australian First Aid , St. John Ambulance Australia, 2002: www.stjohn.org.au.

Aims:

  • To respect and respond to children’s need of their own cultural food.
  • To prevent food poisoning and minimise transmission of food borne illness in children and staff by maintaining adequate health, hygiene and safe practices for handling, preparing and storing food.
  • To adhere to Australian Food Safety standards
  • To follow the centre’s Food Safety Program.
  • To practice safe food handling at all times.
  • To provide families with information about nutritious food and dietary requirements for children’s growth and development, adequate health, hygiene and safe practices for handling, preparing and storing food.
  • To remind parents/guardians about nutritious food safe practices for handling, preparing and storing lunches for their children.

Implementation:

  • As parents provide for their child’s lunch, all food is checked that the child’s name is clearly labelled on the container and that each container is clean to avoid food contamination.
  • Staff follow the Centre’s food safety program and plan when prepare food for children.
  • The parent/guardian places their child’s lunch container in the room’s refrigerator on arriving.
  • The room’s fridge is set at 5C or below and the fridge temperature is checked and recorded on a regular basis.
  • At lunch preparation time, the staff will take a child’s lunch from the fridge, place it in the microwave and reheat it to minimum 75C. We ensure microware food safety by:
    • Using only microware safe dishes, utensils and wrali
    • Food is reheated to a minimum 75C and covered until eating begins
    • Serving temperature at 60C, following cleaning and personal hygiene routines.
  • Ensure food safety handling procedures are followed to prevent cross contamination between foods during the preparation and serving of food.
  • Ensure all staff practice and model personal hygiene with children such as washing hands
  • Where food is brought from home to the centre, all parents/guardians will be asked not to send food containing nuts or ingredients with trade of nuts.
  • Staff ensure children do not trade or share food, food utensils and food containers
  • We ensure that the food preparation and serving staff:
    • Practise personal hygiene.
    • Wash hands before and after handling food and wearing gloves
    • Avoid direct touching of ready to eat food by following food safety handling technique and using clean utensils and gloves.
    • Do not prepare food while having a cold or suffering from any gastrointestinal illness or have any hand infection.
  • All the staff prepare and serve food in accordance with the FSANZ guideline.
  • Ensure the food preparation staff clean and sanitise the food preparation and serving areas before and after serving food.
  • To be aware and accommodate the special needs of culturally and linguistically diverse families in relation to special rules for storing, preparing and serving foods such as Halal and Kosher food.
  • Asking families about any special requirements for storing, preparing and serving foods, and ask them for preferred recipes.

Review of Procedures and Policy :

The Food brought from Home policy will be reviewed every year in consultation with Staff and Parents as part of the Centre’s annual review process.