Healthy Children - July 2011

Food Safety

Preschoolers’ immune systems are still developing. This makes it easier for them to become ill. That’s why it’s important to follow the recommended food safety guidelines.

Keep food safe to eat by following these general guidelines to avoid foodborne illness FOR EVERYONE:

  • CLEAN—Wash hands and surfaces often.
  • CHILL—Refrigerate promptly and defrost frozen foods in the refrigerator.
  • SEPARATE—Don’t cross-contaminate. For example, after cutting meat, wash the knife before using it to cut vegetables.
  • COOK—Cook to proper temperature using a food thermometer.


In addition, follow these specific guidelines FOR PRESCHOOLERS:

  • Investigate foods to avoid to prevent foodborne illness.
  • Foods that can be choking hazards.
  • Teach them the importance of hand washing.
  • If your preschooler has any food allergies or food intolerances, speak with your doctor for more information.
  • Beware of Germs on Drinking Glasses


The Center for Disease Control (CDC) tells us that flu viruses, cold germs and bacteria can stay on glasses from 2 hours to 2 days. Do not let your kids drink from each other’s glasses. Wash glasses often, especially during cold and flu season.

Reprinted with permission for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).