As parents, you do your best to plan and prepare meals that are nutritious. Food, after all, is an essential part of your baby’s growth and development. You also trust that the products you buy go through thorough, sanitary methods of preparation. But sadly, baby food contamination can happen, even in the most careful of food companies.
Baby Food Contamination Happens All the Time…
A couple in Auckland, New Zealand were shocked to find a cockroach in the snack they had just fed their baby. According to NewsHub, Jacqueline Danies and Dan Ali fed their 11-month-old baby girl lemon and nut seed snacks they had just bought from the supermarket.
The worried mum told the local news outlet that her baby had started kicking about after tasting the snack. “She kept crying uncontrollably,” recalled the mum.
She and her husband quickly checked the food they had given her. Upon closer inspection, they found a dead cockroach baked into the snack. Because it was of a similar colour as the nuts and seeds, they failed to notice it.
This was not the first time they had bought the same snacks for their little one, which made it even more shocking. The only difference was that it came in a different plastic container.
After realising that they had fallen victim to baby food contamination, they immediately called for medical help. The upset mum was “shocked and disgusted” by what happened.
The supermarket where they bought the contaminated snacks emphasised that they had received no similar prior complaints. They urged the couple to file a formal report. They also advised them to bring the baby food to the store for further investigation.
Preventing Baby Food Contamination: Top Tips for Parents
To prevent baby food contamination, it helps to make your baby’s meals and snacks at home. | Image source: Shutterstock
Aside from checking food thoroughly, there’s little parents can do to make sure store-bought food has not been contaminated. Perhaps this is why more parents are opting for homemade baby food.
This is because it helps parents be in control of the food’s ingredients. It’s also more economical and trains a baby to eat food similar to the rest of the family.
However, one of the disadvantages of this is that homemade baby food tends to spoil easily and takes time and effort.
Here Are Important Guidelines to Safely Serve and Store Baby Food:
- Wash your hands thoroughly before food preparation.
- Clean utensils and equipment thoroughly.
- Wash fruits and vegetables under running water.
- Don’t use one cutting board. Have separate ones ready for meat, fish, poultry, and vegetables.
- Make sure raw meat, fish, dairy, and meat products are stored in the freezer immediately after you buy them.
- Thoroughly cook poultry, meat, and fish to avoid bacterial baby food contamination.
- Don’t let cooked food sit outside the fridge for more than one to two hours.
- Homemade baby food with meat, poultry, eggs, and fish can only be kept up to 24 hours in the fridge.
- As for baby food with fruits and vegetables, they can be kept refrigerated for up to 48 hours.
- DO NOt defrost baby food by dunking them in water or leaving them at room temperature.
- If you want to freeze baby food, make sure they are sealed and labeled accordingly (with date and ingredients). Some baby food can be kept up to a month in the refrigerator.
Make sure to consult your child’s paediatrician or nutritionist when it comes to homemade baby food that’s safe and nutritious.
Sources: WebMD, FoodSafety.gov, NewsHub New Zealand
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