Summer Food Safety
Reduce the risk
The risk of food borne illness is higher in the summer months because the hot and humid weather creates prime conditions for bacteria to grow and thrive. As well, people are less likely to follow food safety guidelines like hand washing and keeping food cool when eating outdoors.
Here are some things to consider:
- Keep it cool. Include an ice pack in packed lunches to keep food cool and safe to eat. Temperatures can get hot inside the classroom/centre during the summer months. If you have the fridge space, The best place to keep lunches is in the fridge, if you have the space, where food can stay between 0 and 4⁰ C. When outside, store lunches out of the hot sun, ideally in the shade and in a cooler with ice packs.
- Clean surfaces. Use sanitizer and hot soapy water (if available) to clean tables before and after eating and food preparation.
- Wash hands. Hot soapy water is always best but in a pinch, if eating outdoors with limited water access, bring along hand sanitizer and antibacterial wipes to use before and after eating.
- Keep it covered. Prevent flies and other bugs landing on open food or birds attacking from above by keeping food covered and sealed when unattended.
- First Aid. Bring along your first aid kit for scrapes and stings. Be sure any child with an allergy has their epinephrine auto-injector.
For more information:
HealthLink BC can help you learn more about food-borne illnesses and how to prevent them. https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/health-feature/summer-food-safety
HealthLink BC also has an article on food safety in children older than 1 year here: https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/healthy-eating/foodborne-illness-children