Every year, millions of children experience illnesses brought about by foodbourne illnesses. These affects the overall health of the kids affected. But that is not all. Many of them miss school because of the illnesses. Moreover, in some cases, the problems were cured without the parents and the doctors identifying where the problem originated. But in the majority of cases, the problems can be traced back to school. An epidemic of salmonella in one school for example is not unheard of. These can of course be avoided if we teach our kids the basic of food safety. So whether you are a parent, teacher, part of the school administration or part of the food service staff, here are facts about food safety for kids that you should know.
First, statistically, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the US around 76 million cases of fodborne illnesses are reported every year. This results in hospitalization and even deaths. Every day millions of children get their lunch from the National School Program. The food then is prepared by school food service staff or by food vendor. It is also estimated that the food is served by workers aged 16 to 19. For food vendors and for school food service staff, a comprehensive training on food preparation and kids food safety is necessary to ensure that the food served in school do not put the children at risk.
Second, when it comes to how safe our kids are, when it comes to kids food safety, Primetime ABC once conducted a surprise inspection of school cafeterias and found that there are dead rodents and cockroaches where the food were prepared. The food trays were not properly washed. The foods were kept in temperatures that are not safe. Since the Primetime ABC expose, many parents started inspecting the school cafeteria. In Finley Elementary School in Washington, for example, the parents of the children won $4.7 million against the school.
Third, whether you are a parent, school staff or vendor, there is something you can do about kids food safety. For parents, it is important that to take time visiting the schools of your children and inspect the cafeteria and were the food is prepared. Make sure that the school staff that serve food know kids food safety. Know if proper food preparation and kids food safety are observed in the school. If not, complain until the issue is resolved. For the school, make sure that those who prepare and serve the food know about kids food safety. And if you have a food vendor, make sure that everyone in their staff are trained in kids food safety. This would ensure that you serve healthy and safe foods that are within the standards set by the school board. Remember you have the responsibility to provide healthy and safe foods to the children in school. Learn more about this topic here: www.keepingitkleen.com