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Food Safety For Your Baby
Practicing good food safety behaviors to protect your baby from foodborne illness is important. Babies and young children are particularly vulnerable to diseases that can be spread in food, usually caused by unsafe handling practices. That's because their immune systems are not developed enough to fight off the disease-causing germs.
Bottles, Jars, and Utensils
- Follow the manufacturer's recommendations for preparing bottles before filling them with formula or milk. Observe "use-by" dates on formula cans.
- Check to be sure that the safety button on the lid of commercial baby food jars is down. If the jar lid doesn't "pop" when opened, don't use the product.
- Discard any jars with chipped glass or rusty lids.
- Don't put a bottle back in the refrigerator if the baby doesn't finish it. Harmful bacteria from the baby's mouth can grow and multiply even after refrigeration.
- Once you baby is trying jarred food, don't feed baby directly from a jar and then refrigerate it. Saliva on the spoon may contaminate the remaining food in the jar.
- Use detergent and hot water to wash all blenders, food processors, and utensils (including the can opener) that come in contact with a baby's foods. Rinse well after washing.
- Ask your healthcare provider if you should sterilize (boil) your baby's bottles and pacifiers. He/she may say it isn't necessary if your water is safe, and especially if you run these items through a dishwasher.
Making and Using Formula
- To stay safe when making and using formula, always follow the manufacturer's instructions.
- Don't make more formula than you will need. Formula can become contaminated during preparation, so if a large quantity of formula is prepared and not properly refrigerated, bacteria can multiply to very large numbers.
- Don't leave formula out at room temperature for more than 2 hours (or one hour, if the temperature is above 90°).
- Remember to measure the precise amount of water to formula, as your baby needs the proper calories per ounce. Concentrating or diluting the formula is not recommended and may adversely impact the nutritional health of your baby.