Food Safety for Babies and Toddlers

Anyone is at high for getting a food borne illness if proper precautions aren’t met, but did you know that children under five are particularly susceptible to getting a food borne illness? That is because their immune systems aren’t developed enough yet to fight off pathogens they may ingest. In fact, of all cases of hospitalizations for food poisoning, such as for salmonella and certain E. coli infections, half of them are children ( Here are some tips to keep your little one at home safe:

  • Check the temperature of your fridge. Keep breast milk or prepared formula in the refrigerator at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or less. Use a refrigerator thermometer if you’re not sure what the “1-9” range in your refrigerator means for temperatures.
  • Make sure the baby bottle is not just clean, but is sterilized. This can be done in either boiling water or if your dishwasher has a temperature setting for it
  • Don’t add new formula to an already prepped bottle of older formula
  • Pour out baby food into a clean bowl when serving it to your baby. That way, if you don’t use up the whole food jar and want to use it at a later time, the baby’s saliva doesn’t get in the jar.
  • Store leftover baby food in the refrigerator at 40 degrees or lower, label it with the date, and discard after three days.
  • Never change a diaper in the kitchen or eating areas.
  • Teach your children at a young age how to properly wash their hands. Handwashing is one of the most effective ways to prevent illnesses (

For learn more about food safety for babies and toddlers, please visit

Whether you’re a parent, a child-care professional, or an occasional babysitter, this information is helpful to keep the little ones safe from a preventable illness.


Keeping Babies & Toddlers Safe from Foodborne Illness. (n.d.). Retrieved from


Shari Bresin, Family and Consumer Sciences Agent for Pasco County Extension
Posted: June 18, 2018

Category: Food Safety, Work & Life
Tags: Bottle, Food Safety, Refrigerator, Temperature

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