Safer food
bet ter business
for childminders
This page has been left intentionally blank
How to use this pack
Welcome to Safer food, better busi-
ness for childminders
Is this pack for me?
This pack is for you if you are a registered
childminder or childcarer on domestic premises
(where you look after children in your home) and
you usually provide meals and drinks for the children
in your care. It will help you comply with the law.
Do you usually:
• providemeals,snacksordrinks(apartfrommainstap
water) for children or babies?
Yes No
and/or
• reheatfoodprovidedbyaparent/carer,orcutitup?
Yes No
If you said yestooneorbothofthesequestions,thenthis
packisforyou.Ifyouprovidefoodforchildreninyourcare,
you must comply with food safety and hygiene regulations.
If you think this pack does not cover all the food
preparationandcookingyoudo,contacttheenvironmental
health service at your local authority for advice.
If no (you don’t usually do either of these things) and you
justdothefollowing,youdonothavetousethispack:
• keeppackedlunchesinyourfridgethatarebroughtby
parents/carers
and/or
• provideplatesandcutleryforthechildrentousetoeat
their own packed lunches
and/or
• onlyprovidefoodoccasionally,e.g.abirthdaycakefor
oneofthechildren,orifaparent/carerhasbeendelayed
in picking up a child
Ifyouarenotsurewhethertousethispack,contactthe
environmental health service at your local authority for
advice.
Home childcarers and nannies who look after children in
the child’s home do not need to use this pack.
Ifyourunchildcareonnon-domesticpremises,e.g.a
nursery,youshouldusethepackcalled‘Saferfood,better
businessforcaterers’.However,youmayndsomeofthe
informationinthispackuseful,e.g.theadviceonfeeding
babies and children.
How does this pack help me comply with the
law?
Food safety and hygiene regulations say that you must
be able to show what you do to make sure the food you
provide for children and babies is safe to eat. You must also
have this written down and the pack helps you to do this.
This pack is based on the principles of HACCP (hazard
analysisandcriticalcontrolpoint),butyouwillnotnd
wordssuchas‘HACCP’or‘hazard’inthepackbecausewe
have cut out all the jargon.
ThepackhasbeendevelopedbytheFoodStandards
Agencytobepracticalandeasytouse,withaslittle
paperwork as possible.
TherearealsofoodhygienerequirementsintheStatutory
Framework for the Early Years Foundation stage and
other regulations that form part of your registration as
a childminder/childcarer.
In England you can get further information on these from
Ofsted(theOfceforStandardsinEducation,Children’s
ServicesandSkills)orinWalesfromtheCareandSocial
ServicesInspectorateWalesorinScotlandfromtheCare
Inspectorate. These requirements do not apply in Northern
Ireland.
Who should take charge of the pack? As a registered childminder/childcarer you should take
charge of this pack.
Can I use Safer food, better business for caterers
instead?
IfyouarealreadyusingSaferfood,betterbusinessfor
caterers,youcancontinueusingitifyouprefer.
How does the pack work?
Thepackcontainseight‘safemethod’sheetsandadiary.Thesafemethodsaredividedintofourdifferent
sections,eachwithadifferentcolourandsymbol.Thesectionsarenamedafter‘the4Cs’,whicharethefour
mainthingstorememberforgoodfoodhygiene:Cross-contamination,Cleaning,ChillingandCooking.Thereis
also a diary section.
Cross-contamination
Cross-contamination is one of the most common causes of food poisoning. It happens when harmful bacteria are
spreadontofoodfromotherfood,worktops,handsorequipment/utensils.Theseharmfulbacteriaoftencome
fromrawmeat/poultry,sh,eggsandunwashedvegetables.Othersourcesofbacteriacanincludepeople,pests,
pets,nappiesandlaundry.
Foodalsoneedsprotectingfrom‘chemicalcontamination’(wherechemicalsgetintofood,e.g.cleaningproducts)
andfrom‘physicalcontamination’(whereobjectsgetintofoode.g.brokenglass).
Cleaning
Effective cleaning is essential to get rid of harmful bacteria and stop them spreading to food.
Chilling
Chillingfoodproperlyhelpstostopharmfulbacteriafromgrowing.Somefoodsneedtobekeptchilledtokeep
themsafe,suchasfoodswitha‘useby’date.Youalsoneedtotakecarewithfrozenfoods,especiallywhen
defrosting.
Cooking
Itisessentialtocookfoodproperlytokillanyharmfulbacteria.Ifitisnotcookedorreheatedproperly,itmightnot
besafeforchildrenorbabiestoeat.Somefoodsalsoneedextracare,suchasinfantformulaandbreastmilk.
Diary
The diary is an important part of the pack. It helps you keep the records you need to comply with the law. The
diarycontains‘actionsheets’and‘3-monthlyreview’sheets.Youcanndoutmoreabouttheseunder‘Howtouse
the diary’ below – and in the introduction to the diary section.
How to use the safe methods
Safe method:
Keeping food cold
It is very important to keep certain foods cold because harmful
bacteria can grow in them if they are not chilled properly. It is
also important to take care when freezing or defrosting food.
Safety point Why? How do you do this?
Certain foods need to be kept in the
fridge to keep them safe e.g.
food with a ‘use by’ date
food that says ‘keep refrigerated’
on the label
cooked food e.g. food you have
cooked in advance or leftovers
ready-to-eat food such as
sandwiches, salads and some
desserts
Put food that you buy frozen e.g.
ice cream, in the freezer straight
away unless you are going to use it
immediately.
If these types of food are not kept
cold enough, harmful bacteria
could grow.
Do you put these types of food into
the fridge (or freezer) straight away:
when you return with shopping or
when food is delivered?
when a parent/guardian brings
food?
after you have used it?
after you have cooked and cooled
down food?
If not, what do you do?
Make sure that you do not use food
after its ‘use by’ date.
Food that has passed its ‘use by’
date might not be safe to eat.
It is a good idea to check ‘use by’
dates every day.
Make sure your fridge is set at 5°C
or below and your freezer is working
properly.
You should check the temperature of
your fridge every day. You only need
to write it down if something goes
wrong.
Setting your fridge at 5°C will
make sure the food is kept at
8°C or below. This is a legal
requirement in England, Wales
and Northern Ireland, and
recommended in Scotland.
You can check this using a fridge
thermometer. Some fridges will
have a digital display to show what
temperature they are set at but
you should check regularly that the
temperature shown on the display is
accurate, using a fridge thermometer.
If you take food (e.g. sandwiches or
yoghurts) with you when you go out,
it is a good idea to use a cool bag and
ice blocks to keep the food cold until
you are ready to eat it.
It is important to keep chilled
food cold to prevent harmful
bacteria from growing.
Do you do this? Yes
No
If you cook food that will not be
eaten immediately (or have leftovers),
cool it down, ideally within one to
two hours, and then put it in the
fridge or freezer.
Use up any leftovers within 48 hours.
You can make food cool down more
quickly by dividing food into smaller
portions.
Harmful bacteria can grow in food
if not cooled down quickly and
then put in the fridge or freezer.
The‘Safetypoint’column
highlights things that are
important to make food safely.
Pictures help to illustrate the
safety points.
The‘Why’?columntellsyou
why the safety point
is important.
The‘Howdoyoudothis?’
column is for you to write
down what you do.
In some places you only need
totickaboxandinother
places write a small amount.
Sometimesthepicturesaremarkedwithoneofthesesymbols:
= right = wrong
Front
Anexampleofacompletedsafemethod
Keeping food cold
Safety point Why? How do you do this?
Defrosting
Food should be thoroughly
defrosted before cooking (unless the
manufacturer’s instructions tell you
to cook from frozen).
If the manufacturer gives instructions
on how to defrost the food, follow
these.
If food is still frozen or partially
frozen, it will take longer to cook.
The outside of the food could be
cooked, but the centre might not
be, which means it could contain
harmful bacteria.
Do you check food is thoroughly
defrosted before cooking?
Yes
No
If not, what do you do?
Ideally, defrost small amounts of
food in the fridge. (Try to plan ahead
and allow enough time for foods to
defrost in this way.)
Putting food in the fridge will keep
it at a safe temperature while it is
defrosting.
Do you use this method? Yes
You could also defrost food in the
microwave on the ‘defrost’ setting
as long as the food is going to be
cooked straight away.
This is a fast way to defrost food.
Do you use this method? Yes
Only defrost foods at room
temperature if they do not need to
be kept in the fridge e.g. bread.
Foods will defrost quite quickly at
room temperature but harmful
bacteria could grow in some food if
it gets too warm while defrosting.
Do you do this? Yes
No
Think twice!
Once food has been defrosted keep it in the fridge and use it within 24 hours. Do not freeze the food again.
What to do if things go wrong
If you notice food has passed its ‘use by’ date, throw it away.
If your fridge is not working properly, you should:
Move food that needs to be kept cold to another fridge (if you have one) or a cold area, or put it in a cool bag
containing an ice block. If you cannot do this use the food straight away, or if you do not know how long the
fridge has been broken down, throw the food away.
If food that should be kept cold, has been left out of the fridge for a long time and is no longer cold, you should
throw it away.
If you find that your freezer is not working properly, you should do the following things:
If food is still frozen (i.e. hard and icy) it should be moved to another freezer straight away, if you have one.
If you do not have another freezer, defrost the food safely and use within 24 hours.
If food has begun to defrost you should continue to defrost it safely and use within 24 hours.
If food has fully defrosted (i.e. it is soft and warm), throw the food away.
If food that needs to be kept frozen (e.g. ice cream) has started to defrost, do not refreeze it. Use it
immediately or throw it away.
Write down what went wrong and what you did about it on your action sheet.
Safe method completed: Date: Signature:
The ‘What to do if things
go wrong’ column gives
practical tips on how to tackle
problems.
If things go wrong, write
down what happened and
what you did in your action
sheet. Each safe method
reminds you to do this.
To complete the pack you
need to work through each
section and complete all the
safe methods that are relevant
to you. Fill in the date and
sign each safe method when
you have completed it.
Back
How to use the diary
Thediaryincludesactionsheetsand3-monthlyreviewsheets.Theseareanimportantpartoftherecordsyou
need to keep about food to comply with the law.
Ifyouhaveanyproblems,oranythingchanges,youshouldmakeanoteontheactionsheet.
Everythreemonths,youshouldcompletethe3-monthlyreview.Seetheintroductiontothediarysectionfor
more information about this.
Fill in the date.
Writedownwhatwent
wrong or what has
changed.
Add your initials.
Writedownwhatyou
aregoingtodo,orhave
alreadydone,asaresult.
Action sheet
Date Details of the
problem/change
What you are going to do, or have already
done, about the problem/change
Initials
Make a note of any problems or changes and what action you took. Also note if you have trained anyone who
helps you prepare or serve food.
3-monthly review
Date 3-monthly review
completed
Details of a serious or
persistent problem
or
The change in the way you
are working
What you are going to do,
or have already done, about
the problem
or
Any changes you need to
make to your safe methods
25.06.12
Have a new baby in my care
(Richard Brown).
Need to change the ‘Babies and
children – special advice’ safe
method to show how I store
made-up formula milk provided
by the parents.
25.09.12
No problem/changes No action to take
E X A M P L E
Fill in the date.
Tick to say you have
completed your
3-monthlyreview.
Writedowndetailsof
any serious or persistent
problems and any
changes in the way you
are working.
Give details of any action
youaregoingtotak
e,or
havealreadytaken,asa
result of the problem/
change. Also write down
any changes you need
to make to your safe
methods.
Questions
What do I do next? Workthroughthepackandllinallofthesafemethods
that are relevant to you.
Mostchildminderswillneedtollinallthesafemethods.
Butif,forexample,youonlyservecoldfoode.g.
sandwiches,thenthe‘Cookingandreheating’safemethod
would not be relevant.
Rememberthatonceyouhaveworkedthroughthepack,
you need to make sure you are following the safe methods
every day.
Do I need to keep lots of daily records? No,youwillnotneedtokeeplotsofdailyrecords.Once
youhaveworkedthroughthepackandlledinallofthe
relevantsafemethods,youwillonlyneedtollinthe
actionsheetifyouhaveaproblemorsomethingchanges,
andtocompletethe3-monthlyreview.Seethe‘Howtouse
the diary’ section for more information.
It is a legal requirement to keep a record of what food
productsyouhavebought,whoyouboughtthemfrom,the
quantity and date. Usually the easiest way to do this is to
keepallyourreceipts,evenforsmallamounts.Thisissothat
– if there is a safety problem with food you have provided –
youoranenforcementofcerfromyourlocalauthoritycan
check the details of the food.
Keep these records in a way that makes it easy for you or an
enforcementofcertocheckthem.Thereisnosettimefor
howlongyouneedtokeepthese.Asaguide,keepthem
for at least four weeks after you have provided the food to
the children.
What if I need extra copies of the safe methods
or diary pages?
Ifyouneedanewcopyofasafemethod,youcan
download one from food.gov.uk/childminders. If you
needmorecopiesoftheactionsheetorthe3-monthly
reviewsheet,youcaneitherdownloadthemorphotocopy
thesheetsinthepackbeforeyouhavelledthemin.
Does anyone else need to use this pack? If anyone helps you to prepare or serve food for the
children/babiesyoulookafter,itisveryimportanttotrain
them in all the safe methods that are relevant to what they
do.Makesuretheyhaveworkedthroughthe‘Personal
hygiene’ safe method before they do any work with food.
You should also supervise them to check they are following
the safe methods properly. Keep a note of any training on
the Action sheet in your diary.
Questions
Where can I get more information? For more information about food safety, talk to the
environmental health service at your local authority or visit
food.gov.uk/childminders
For details of Food Standards Agency publications visit
food.gov.uk/publications or call 0845 606 0667
For more information about what foods to give to babies
and children, see www.nhs.uk/LiveWell/Goodfood/
Pages/Goodfoodhome.aspx
England – you can find more information on registration as
a childminder or childcarer on domestic premises on the
Ofsted website at www.ofsted.gov.uk
Scotland – visit the Care Inspectorate at
www.careinspectorate.com
Wales – visit the Care and Social Services Inspectorate
Wales at www.cssiw.org.uk
Northern Ireland – contact the Early Years team at your
local Health and Social Services Trust or visit the Northern
Ireland Childminding Association’s site at www.nicma.org
About this guidance
This guidance follows the Government Code of Practice on Guidance. If you believe this guidance breaches the
Code for any reason, or if you have any comments on the guidance, please contact us at
FoodBusinessHygiene@foodstandards.gsi.gov.uk
This guidance was originally published in 2009. The most recent update is October 2012 and it will be reviewed
again in 2015.
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Cross-contamination
Cleaning
Chilling
Cooking
Diary
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Safe method:
Personal hygiene
It is important to follow good personal hygiene to help prevent
bacteria from spreading to food.
Safety point Why?
Avoid touching your face or nose, or coughing and
sneezing over food.
Harmful bacteria and viruses can be spread from your
face, nose or mouth to your hands and onto food.
Ideally you should not wear watches or jewellery when
preparing food (except a wedding band).
Watches and jewellery can collect and spread dirt and
harmful bacteria, or fall in the food.
Make sure your clothes are clean, and ideally wear an
apron, when preparing food.
Clothes can bring dirt and bacteria into food
preparation areas. Wearing clean clothes helps to
prevent this.
Do not prepare any food if you have diarrhoea and/or
vomiting.
People suffering from these symptoms often carry
harmful bacteria and viruses on their hands and can
spread them to food or equipment they touch.
Do not prepare food until you have had no symptoms
for 48 hours.
Even if the diarrhoea and vomiting has stopped, you can
still carry harmful bacteria for 48 hours afterwards.
Cuts and sores should be completely covered with a
waterproof dressing, ideally a brightly coloured one.
This is to prevent bacteria from the cut or sore spreading
to food. Brightly coloured dressings are easier to spot if
they come off and fall into food.
Handwashing
Safety point
You should always wash your hands properly before
preparing food or touching ready-to-eat food e.g.
sandwiches.
You should wash your hands after:
• goingtothetoilet
• touchingrawmeat/poultry,sh,eggsandunwashed
vegetables
• emptyingbins
• cleaning
• touchingacutorchangingadressing
• handlingpets,theirfeedingbowlsorotherequipment
• contactwithpotties,nappiesandchangingmats
• cleaningupaccidents(e.g.vomitordiarrhoea)
• helpingachildusethetoilet
• wipingorblowingyournoseorachild’snose
• outsideactivitiese.g.aftertakingchildrentothepark
• touchingdirtylaundry
Why?
Harmful bacteria can spread very easily from hands to
food, work surfaces and equipment.
Washing your hands properly at the right times helps to
prevent this.
Washing hands effectively
Step 1:
Wet your hands thoroughly
under warm running water
and squirt liquid soap onto
your palm.
Step 2:
Rub your hands together
palm to palm to make a
lather.
Step 3:
Rub the palm of one hand
along the back of the other
andalongthengers.
Repeat with the other
hand.
Step 4:
Put your palms together
withngersinterlocked
and rub in between each of
thengersthoroughly,and
aroundthengertipsand
thumbs.
Step 5:
Rinse off the soap with
clean water.
Step 6:
Dry hands thoroughly with
a clean towel that you only
use for drying hands.
Think twice!
• Makesureanyoneelsewhopreparesfoodforthechildren,orusesthekitchen,understandstheimportance
of personal hygiene, and especially the importance of washing hands. Harmful bacteria can spread very easily
frompeople’shandstofood,worksurfaces,equipmentetc.Effectivehandwashinghelpstopreventthis.
• Makesurechildrenwashtheirhandsbeforeeating.
• Makesureyouhaveagoodsupplyofsoapandcleantowelsforhandwashing.
What to do if things go wrong
If you think someone who is helping you has not washed their hands, make sure they wash them straight away and
emphasise how important it is to wash their hands when working with food.
Write down what went wrong and what you did about it on your action sheet.
Safe method completed: Date:
Signature:
Personal hygiene
Safe method:
Food storage and preparation
It is very important to store and prepare food carefully, and
keep sources of bacteria away from food preparation areas.
Safety point Why? How do you do this?
Ideally, store raw and ready-to-eat
food separately. If they are in the same
fridge,storerawmeatandpoultry,sh
and eggs below ready-to-eat food, such
as salads, sandwiches and desserts.
Unwashed fruit and vegetables should
also be kept separate from ready-to-eat
food and above raw meat.
Cover cooked and other ready-to-eat
food.
If you are defrosting raw meat or
poultry, make sure that none of the
liquid that comes out of it gets onto
other food.
This helps to prevent harmful
bacteria spreading from raw food
to ready-to-eat food.
Do you store raw meat and poultry?
Yes No
If yes, do you follow this advice?
Yes
If not, what do you do?
Never use the same worktop, chopping
board, knives or other equipment for
preparing raw food (such as meat and
poultry) and for ready-to-eat food,
unless they have been thoroughly
cleaned and disinfected in between.
Seethe‘Cleaning’safemethod.
Harmful bacteria from raw food
such as meat/poultry can spread
from chopping boards and knives
to other food.
Do you always use a clean knife and
chopping board for preparing
ready-to-eat food?
Yes
If not, what do you do?
When preparing fruit, vegetables
and salad ingredients wash them
thoroughly by rubbing vigorously in a
bowl of clean water. Wash the cleanest
onesrst.
Fruit, vegetables and salad
ingredients may have harmful
bacteria on the outside. Washing
will help clean them and remove
some of the bacteria.
‘Use by’ and ‘best before’ dates – what they mean
‘Useby’date–thisisaboutsafety.Donotservefoodafterthisdate–thisisagainstthelaw.Evenifitlooksand
smellsne,eatingfoodafterits‘useby’datecouldmakechildrenorbabiesill.
‘Bestbefore’date–thisisaboutquality.Foodshouldbesafetoeatafterthe‘bestbefore’date,butitmightbegin
toloseitsavourandtexture.Eggsareanexception–theyshouldalwaysbeusedbytheir‘bestbefore’date.
Safety point Why? How do you do this?
Nappies and laundry
If your washing machine is in the
kitchen, do not bring dirty laundry
into the kitchen while food is
being prepared.
Your nappy changing facilities
should be separate from any food
preparation areas.
Never put dirty nappies, laundry
or laundry baskets on worktops.
Always wash your hands properly
after touching dirty nappies or
laundry.
This helps to prevent dirt and bacteria
spreading from nappies and laundry to
food.
If not what do you do?
If your washing machine is in the
kitchen, do you follow this advice?
Yes No
Where are your nappy changing
facilities?
Pets
Keep pets away from food, dishes
and worktops and away from
children when they are eating.
Pets can spread harmful bacteria to food. Do you have any pets?
Yes No
If yes, do you follow this advice?
Yes
If not, what do you do?
Safety point Why?
Maintenance
Make sure you keep food preparation areas in good
condition.
Replace damaged equipment, utensils and dishes
straight away e.g. replace worn chopping boards,
cracked dishes, chipped glasses.
This makes cleaning easier and helps to prevent pests.
Dirt and bacteria can collect on damaged equipment/
utensils and loose parts might fall into food.
Food storage and preparation
What to do if things go wrong
• Ifrawmeat/poultry,sh,eggsorunwashedvegetableshavetouchedordrippedontoready-to-eatorcooked
food, throw away the food.
• Ifready-to-eatorcookedfoodhasbeenpreparedusingaworktop,choppingboard,knifeorotherequipment
that has been used with raw food and not cleaned and disinfected afterwards, throw away the food.
• Ifdirtylaundry,nappiesorpetshavebeenonaworktop,removethemandwashandthendisinfecttheworktop
straight away.
• Ifobjectssuchasbrokenglassgetintofood,throwawaythefood.
Write down what went wrong and what you did about it on your action sheet.
Safe method completed: Date: Signature:
Safe method:
Food allergies
It is important to know what to do if you look after a child who
has a food allergy, because these allergies can be life-threatening.
Safety point Why?
Always check if children have any food allergies and keep a
written record of these.
It is a good idea to be able to refer to this record
when preparing and serving food.
Make sure you check all the ingredients of any meals and
snacks you give to a child with a food allergy. For example,
if you make a cheese sandwich, check the ingredients of
the bread, cheese, spread and anything else you put in the
sandwich. Never guess.
If someone has a severe allergy, they can react to
even a tiny amount of the food they are sensitive to.
Youcanndoutmoreaboutallergiesat
food.gov.uk/allergy
If you are cooking, remember to check the ingredients of
any oil, sauce, dressing or other packaged foods, including
tins and jars. If you are not sure, do not give the food to
the child.
Any of these could contain an ingredient the child is
allergic to.
When you are preparing food for a child with a food allergy,
clean worktops and equipment thoroughly before you start.
Makesureyoualsowashyourhandsthoroughlyrst.
This is to prevent small amounts of the food that a
child is allergic to getting into the food by accident.
If a parent/guardian of a child with an allergy provides
food,makesureitisclearlylabelledwiththechild’sname.
This makes sure that the child receives the right food
and avoids it being given to another child who may
have a different food allergy.
How do you do this?
How do you check if food does not contain a particular ingredient?
How do you prepare food for a child with a food allergy?
Think twice!
Which ingredients can cause a problem?
These are some of the foods children may be allergic to and some of the places where they may
be found:
Nuts In sauces, desserts, crackers, bread, ice cream, marzipan, ground almonds, nut oils.
Peanuts Insauces,cakes,desserts.Don’tforgetgroundnutoilandpeanutour.
Eggs Incakes,mousses,sauces,pasta,quiche,somemeatproducts.Don’tforgetfoodscontaining
mayonnaise or brushed with egg.
Milk In yoghurt, cream, cheese, butter, milk powders. Also check for foods glazed with milk.
Fish Insomesaladdressings,pizzas,relishes,shsauce.Youmightalsondshinsomesoyand
Worcestershire sauces.
Crustacea Such as prawns, lobster, scampi, crab, shrimp paste.
Molluscs These include mussels, whelks, squid, land snails, oyster sauce.
Cereals containing Such as wheat, rye and barley. Also check foods containing flour, such as bread, pasta, cakes,
gluten pastry, meat products, sauces, soups, batter, stock cubes, breadcrumbs, foods dusted with
flour.
Celery This includes celery stalks, leaves and seeds and celeriac. Also look out for celery in salads,
soups, celery salt, some meat products.
Lupin Lupin seeds and flour in some types of bread and pastries.
Mustard Including liquid mustard, mustard powder and mustard seeds, in salad dressings, marinades,
soups, sauces, curries, meat products.
Sesame seeds In bread, breadsticks, tahini, houmous, sesame oil.
Soya As tofu or beancurd, soya flour and textured soya protein, in some ice cream, sauces,
desserts, meat products, vegetarian products.
Sulphur dioxide In meat products, fruit juice drinks, dried fruit and vegetables, wine, beer.
What to do if things go wrong
If you think a child is having a severe allergic reaction:
•Donotmovethem.
•Ring999andaskforanambulancewitha
paramedic straight away.
•Explainthatthechildcouldhaveanaphylaxis
(pronounced‘anna-ll-axis’).
•Sendaresponsiblepersonoutsidetowaitforthe
ambulance.
•Contacttheparent/guardianofthechildafteryou
have called an ambulance.
How to stop this happening again
•Makesurethatyouandanyonewhohelpswithfood
preparation, understands how important it is to check all
the ingredients of a food and knows about the symptoms
andtreatmentofanallergicreaction.Youcanndout
more about this at
www.nhs.uk/conditions/food-allergy/Pages/Intro1.aspx
•Reviewthewayfoodispreparedforsomeonewithafood
allergy–areyoucleaningeffectivelyrstandusingclean
equipment?
Write down what went wrong and what you did about it on your action sheet.
Safe method completed: Date: Signature:
Food allergies
Safe method:
Pest control and chemical contamination
Effective pest control is essential to keep out pests and
prevent them from spreading harmful bacteria. It is also very
important that you prevent chemicals getting into food.
Safety point Why?
Pests
Check regularly for signs of pests, for example, in your food
cupboards.
Pests can carry harmful bacteria.
Make sure no food or dirty plates are left out at night. And clean up
any food on the floor.
These are a source of food for pests.
Types of pests
Rats and mice
Look out for
droppings,
gnawed food
or packaging.
Cockroaches
and ants
Look out for the
insects themselves.
Flies and other
insects
Look out for insects
and maggots.
Safety point
Chemicals
Always read the label and follow the instructions on how to use
chemicals.
Never let pest control bait/chemicals, including sprays, come into
contact with food, packaging, equipment or worktops.
Store cleaning chemicals (e.g. bleach, detergents) separately from
food and make sure they are clearly labelled.
Keep all cleaning and pest control products out of reach of
children.
Why?
This is important to make sure that chemicals
work effectively.
Chemicals are likely to be poisonous to
people.
Storing chemicals properly is important to
keep food and children safe.
What to do if things go wrong
•Ifyouseesignsofpests,callyourlocalauthorityorapestcontractorimmediately.
•Ifyouthinkanyequipment,worktopsorutensilshavebeentouchedbypests,washandthendisinfectthem
thoroughly to stop harmful bacteria from spreading.
•Ifyouthinkfoodhasbeentouchedbypestsinanyway,throwitaway.
•Ifpestcontrolorcleaningchemicalsgetintofood,throwthefoodaway.
Write down what went wrong and what you did about it on your action sheet.
Safe method completed: Date: Signature:
This page has been left intentionally blank
Safe method:
Cleaning
It is essential to keep your food preparation areas clean
to get rid of harmful bacteria and stop them spreading.
Safety point Why?
Regularly clean and disinfect all the items people touch
frequently, such as worktops, sinks, taps, handles, switches
and high chairs.
Cleaning needs to be carried out in two stages. First use
a cleaning product to remove visible dirt from surfaces
and equipment, and rinse. Then disinfect them following
manufacturers instructions and rinse with fresh clean water.
If you use an all-in-one spray this should be used first to clean
and again to disinfect.
Allow these items to dry naturally or dry them with disposable
kitchen towel.
It is important to keep these items clean to
prevent dirt and harmful bacteria being spread
to people’s hands and then from their hands to
food or other areas.
Wash worktops, chopping boards and knives thoroughly before
preparing food. Wash and disinfect them after preparing raw
meat/poultry, fish, eggs or unwashed vegetables.
Ideally, wash them in a dishwasher, if appropriate. If you do not
have a dishwasher, wash them in hot soapy water using diluted
detergent. Remove grease and any food and dirt, then immerse
them in very hot, clean water. Leave to air dry, or dry with a
disposable kitchen towel.
Wipe up any spills as soon as they happen. Clean and then
disinfect after wiping up spills from raw food.
This will help prevent dirt and harmful bacteria
spreading onto food from the surface or
equipment.
Always use a clean cloth to wipe worktops, equipment or
utensils. Ideally, use disposable kitchen towel wherever possible.
Make sure cloths are thoroughly washed, disinfected and dried
between tasks (not just when they look dirty). It is important to
also wash and disinfect tea towels and oven gloves regularly.
Ideally, wash cloths, tea towels, aprons and oven gloves in a
washing machine on a hot cycle above 82°C. This will disinfect
them. Or if you wash them by hand, make sure all the food and
dirt has been removed before disinfecting them with very hot
clean water.
Using dirty cloths or tea towels can spread
harmful bacteria very easily. Using disposable
kitchen towel will make sure that any bacteria
picked up on the towel will not be spread.
Cleaning
Safety point Why?
When cleaning up accidents (e.g. vomiting or diarrhoea)
make sure that you clean, wash and disinfect the area
thoroughly.
This prevents harmful bacteria from spreading.
Do not allow kitchen cloths to be used elsewhere in the
house, e.g. when cleaning up after accidents (vomit or
diarrhoea).
This is to prevent harmful bacteria spreading to the
kitchen.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to
use and store cleaning chemicals. When you clean
worktops/chopping boards, make sure that any cleaning
chemicals you use are suitable for surfaces touched
by food.
Keep all chemicals out of reach of children.
Using and storing chemicals correctly is important to
make sure they are effective and to keep children and
food safe.
What to do if things go wrong
• Ifyoundthatanyiteminyourkitchenisnotproperlyclean,washanddisinfectitandallowittodry.
• Ifyouthinkthatakitchenclothhasbeenusedelsewhereinthehouse,throwtheclothawayorwashand
disinfect it before you use it again.
• Aftercleaningupaccidents,changeyourclothesifyouneedtoandmakesureyouwashyourhandsproperly
afterwards.
Write down what went wrong and what you did about it on your action sheet.
Safe method completed: Date: Signature:
Safe method:
Keeping food cold
It is very important to keep certain foods cold because harmful
bacteria can grow in them if they are not chilled properly. It is
also important to take care when freezing or defrosting food.
Safety point Why? How do you do this?
Certain foods need to be kept in the
fridge to keep them safe e.g.
food with a ‘use by’ date
food that says ‘keep refrigerated’
on the label
cooked food e.g. food you have
cooked in advance or leftovers
ready-to-eat food such as
sandwiches, salads and some
desserts
Put food that you buy frozen e.g.
ice cream, in the freezer straight
away unless you are going to use it
immediately.
If these types of food are not kept
cold enough, harmful bacteria
could grow.
Do you put these types of food into
the fridge (or freezer) straight away:
when you return with shopping or
when food is delivered?
when a parent/guardian brings
food?
after you have used it?
after you have cooked and cooled
down food?
If not, what do you do?
Make sure that you do not use food
after its ‘use by’ date.
Food that has passed its ‘use by’
date might not be safe to eat.
It is a good idea to check ‘use by’
dates every day.
Make sure your fridge is set at 5°C
or below and your freezer is working
properly.
You should check the temperature of
your fridge every day. You only need
to write it down if something goes
wrong.
Setting your fridge at 5°C will
make sure the food is kept at
8°C or below. This is a legal
requirement in England, Wales
and Northern Ireland, and
recommended in Scotland.
You can check this using a fridge
thermometer. Some fridges will
have a digital display to show what
temperature they are set at but
you should check regularly that the
temperature shown on the display is
accurate, using a fridge thermometer.
If you take food (e.g. sandwiches or
yoghurts) with you when you go out,
it is a good idea to use a cool bag and
ice blocks to keep the food cold until
you are ready to eat it.
It is important to keep chilled
food cold to prevent harmful
bacteria from growing.
Do you do this? Yes
No
If you cook food that will not be
eaten immediately (or have leftovers),
cool it down, ideally within one to
two hours, and then put it in the
fridge or freezer.
Use up any leftovers within 48 hours.
You can make food cool down more
quickly by dividing food into smaller
portions.
Harmful bacteria can grow in food
if not cooled down quickly and
then put in the fridge or freezer.
Keeping food cold
Safety point Why? How do you do this?
Defrosting
Food should be thoroughly
defrosted before cooking (unless the
manufacturer’s instructions tell you
to cook from frozen).
If the manufacturer gives instructions
on how to defrost the food, follow
these.
If food is still frozen or partially
frozen, it will take longer to cook.
The outside of the food could be
cooked, but the centre might not
be, which means it could contain
harmful bacteria.
Do you check food is thoroughly
defrosted before cooking?
Yes No
If not, what do you do?
Ideally, defrost small amounts of
food in the fridge. (Try to plan ahead
and allow enough time for foods to
defrost in this way.)
Putting food in the fridge will keep
it at a safe temperature while it is
defrosting.
Do you use this method? Yes
You could also defrost food in the
microwave on the ‘defrost’ setting
as long as the food is going to be
cooked straight away.
This is a fast way to defrost food.
Do you use this method? Yes
Only defrost foods at room
temperature if they do not need to
be kept in the fridge e.g. bread.
Foods will defrost quite quickly at
room temperature but harmful
bacteria could grow in some food if
it gets too warm while defrosting.
Do you do this? Yes
No
Think twice!
Once food has been defrosted keep it in the fridge and use it within 24 hours. Do not freeze the food again.
What to do if things go wrong
If you notice food has passed its ‘use by’ date, throw it away.
If your fridge is not working properly, you should:
Move food that needs to be kept cold to another fridge (if you have one) or a cold area, or put it in a cool bag
containing an ice block. If you cannot do this use the food straight away, or if you do not know how long the
fridge has been broken down, throw the food away.
If food that should be kept cold, has been left out of the fridge for a long time and is no longer cold, you should
throw it away.
If you find that your freezer is not working properly, you should do the following things:
If food is still frozen (i.e. hard and icy) it should be moved to another freezer straight away, if you have one.
If you do not have another freezer, defrost the food safely and use within 24 hours.
If food has begun to defrost you should continue to defrost it safely and use within 24 hours.
If food has fully defrosted (i.e. it is soft and warm), throw the food away.
If food that needs to be kept f
immediately or throw it away.
rozen (e.g. ice cream) has started to defrost, do not refreeze it. Use it
Write down what went wrong and what you did about it on your action sheet.
Safe method completed: Date: Signature:
Safe method:
Cooking and reheating safely
Thorough cooking kills harmful bacteria. It is also very
important to reheat food properly to kill harmful bacteria
that may have grown since the food was cooked.
Safety point
If a food has manufacturer’s cooking instructions, follow these.
Always check that food is very hot (steaming) all the way through.
You can also use the following checks to make sure that food is
properly cooked or reheated.
Why?
The manufacturer has tried and tested safe
cooking methods specifically for its products.
Types of check Types of food
Check that food you are cooking or reheating is very hot
(steaming) all the way through. Check the centre of dishes
such as shepherd’s pie or lasagne.
Circle the types of food you use this check
for and add any others.
Types of food: stew, curry, soup, gravy, pasta
dishes, fish, rice, pies and pasties, fish fingers,
pizzas, stir fries.
Other foods:
Check that pieces of chicken are very hot (steaming) in the
middle. The meat should not be pink or red and the juices
should not have any pink or red in them.
If you are cooking a whole chicken, check the meat in the
thickest part of the leg.
Types of food: chicken drumstick and leg,
chicken curry, chicken nuggets.
Other foods:
Check that pork, liver and processed meat products, such
as sausages and burgers, are very hot (steaming) all the way
through with no pink or red in the centre.
Types of food: burgers, sausages, meatballs,
pork chops, lilver, gammon.
Other foods:
Check that all the outside surfaces of meat are fully cooked. Types of food: lamb chops, lamb cutlets, steak.
Other foods:
Cooking and reheating safely
Types of check Types of food
Eggs
Do not serve raw eggs or make foods with raw or partially
cooked eggs (e.g. home-made mayonnaise, mousse or ice
cream) because these can contain harmful bacteria. Do
notletchildrentastecakemixturecontainingraweggs.
Avoid giving eggs with
runny yolks to babies and
toddlers.
For other egg dishes and
foods containing eggs
e.g. scrambled eggs,
omelettesandquiche,
check they are very hot
(steaming) all the way
through.
Do not use eggs after the ‘best before’ date. After this date
there is a greater chance of harmful bacteria growing in
the eggs. Ideally keep eggs in the fridge.
Do you cook egg dishes and foods containing eggs
thoroughly until they are very hot (steaming)?
Yes No
If not, what do you do?
Rice
When you have cooked rice, make sure you keep it hot
untilitiseatenorcoolitdownasquicklyaspossible
(ideally within one hour) and then keep it in the fridge. Use
cooked rice within 24 hours and reheat it until very hot
(steaming).
Rice can contain spores from a type of harmful bacteria. If
cooked rice is left at room temperature, the bacteria could
start growing again from the spores. These bacteria will
multiplyandmayproducetoxins(poisons)thatcausefood
poisoning. Reheating will not get rid of these.
Doyoueitherkeepricehotorcoolitdownasquickly
as possible and keep it in the fridge?
Yes No
If not, what do you do?
Think twice!
Reheating
Remember, reheating means cooking again, not just warming up. To make sure that cooked or reheated food is
safe to eat, always check it is very hot (steaming) all the way through and then, if you need to, let it cool a little
before serving it to a child. You should only reheat food once.
If you are reheating food in a microwave, follow the product manufacturer’s instructions, if you have them,
includingadviceonstandingandstirring.Standingandstirringarepartoftheprocessofcooking/reheatingina
microwave and help to make sure that food is the same temperature all the way through.
If
youuseamicrowavetoreheatfoodthatyou,oraparent/carerhavecooked,itisagoodideatostiritwhilereheating.
When food is microwaved, it can be very hot at the edges and still be cold in the centre – stirring helps to prevent this.
What to do if things go wrong
• Iffoodisnotproperlycookedorreheated,cookitforlonger.
• Speedupthecookingprocess,forexamplebydividingthefoodintosmallerquantities,orusingdifferentequipment.
• Checkthatyouroven/hob/microwaveisworkingproperly.
Write down what went wrong and what you did about it on your action sheet.
Safemethodcompleted:Date: Signature:
Safe method:
Babies and children – special advice
There are some foods for babies that need extra care and
others that are not suitable for children.
Safety point Why? How do you do this?
Formula milk
Ifparents/carersbringmade-up
bottles of formula, put them in the
fridge straight away. Keep them
in the fridge until you are ready to
use them. Use the formula within
24 hours.
Before you prepare a feed, clean
worktops and wash your hands.
You should clean and sterilise
bottles and teats before you use
them. Follow the manufacturer’s
instructions on how to do this.
For more information on sterilising
bottles, see the Department of
Health’s ‘Bottle feeding’ leaflet at
www.dh.gov.uk
If formula is not used as soon as it
has been made up, it needs to be
kept cold to help keep it safe.
Making sure that everything
is clean reduces the chance
of a baby getting sickness and
diarrhoea.
If not, what do you do?
Do you do this? Yes No
Ideally, you should make up
formula milk freshly for each f
eed. If
there is any made-up formula milk
left after a feed, throw it away.
Boil fresh tap water and let it cool,
but for no more than half an hour.
Always put the boiled water in the
bottle first, before the powder.
Cooltheformulaquicklyto
feeding temperature by holding
the bottle under cold running
water (with the cap on).
Using made-up formula milk that
has been stored may increase the
chance of a baby becoming ill.
Using hot water will kill any
harmful bacteria in the powder.
Do you do this? Yes No
If not, what do you do?
Breast milk
Expressedbreastmilkshouldbe
stored in the fridge and used
within 24 hours.
Ifexpressedmilkisnotkeptcold,harmfulbacteriamaygrowinit.
Babies and children – special advice
Safety point Why?
Baby food
If you are using bought baby food, follow the
manufacturer’s instructions on how to prepare and serve it.
Ifyoumakeyourownbabyfood(oraparent/carerbrings
home-made baby food), it is very important to cook, cool,
store, defrost and reheat it safely. Follow the advice in the
‘Keeping food cold’ and ‘Cooking and reheating safely’ safe
methods.
The manufacturer will have designed its instructions
to make sure the food is safe for babies to eat.
If you do not handle baby food safely, harmful
bacteria could grow in the food.
Honey
Do not give honey to
children under one year old.
Very occasionally, honey can contain a type of
harmfulbacteriathatcanproducetoxinsinababy’s
intestines and this can cause serious illness.
Fish
Do not give shark, swordfish and marlin to babies and
young children.
These fish contain relatively high levels of mercury,
which might affect a child’s developing nervous
system.
Shellfish
Avoid giving raw shellfish to babies and young children. Raw shellfish can contain harmful viruses and
bacteria.
Nuts
Do not give whole nuts to children under five. It is a good
idea to crush or flake them.
This is because of the risk of choking.
For more advice on what foods to give to babies and children, visit www.nhs.uk/Conditions/pregnancy-and-
baby/pages/pregnancy-and-baby-care.aspx
Safemethodcompleted:Date: Signature:
Introduction
What is in this diary section?
The diary includes:
• action sheets
• 3-monthly review sheets
These are an important part of the records you need to keep about food to comply with the law. An environmental
health officer from your local authority may want to check these if they visit you.
If you need more copies of the action sheet or the 3-monthly review sheet, you can either download them from
food.gov.uk/childminders or photocopy the sheets in the pack before you have filled them in.
What do I need to do?
This pack has been designed to involve as little paperwork as possible. That means that, once you have worked
through the pack and you are following your safe methods, you do not have to write anything down, unless there
has been a problem, or something has changed – or it is time for your 3-monthly review.
If there are any problems or changes, fill in the action sheet to give details of the problem/change and what you
are going to do, or have already done, about it.
How to complete the 3-monthly review
Every three months you should look back at previous months and identify any serious or persistent problems, or
any changes in the way you are working. You may need to take action to solve a problem, or make changes to your
safe methods. Fill in the details on the 3-monthly review sheet.
If you notice a recurring problem before the 3-monthly review is due, you should always take action at the time to
resolve it, rather than waiting until the next review. Make a note of what you have done on your action sheet.
Some childminders might prefer to keep more records than required by this pack – that is fine, but make sure you
still use the action sheet and 3-monthly review.
Changing a safe method
Sometimes you might need to change one of your safe methods because of a problem or a change in the way you
are working. If you can, change the current copy of the safe method so it is still clear to read, then add the date of
the change at the bottom and also make a note on your action sheet.
Sometimes you might need a new copy of a safe method (you can download this from food.gov.uk/childminders).
Sign and date it at the bottom when you have filled it in and keep it in your pack. You can throw away the old copy
of the safe method. Don’t forget to make a note of what you have done on your action sheet.
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Action sheet
Make a note of any problems or changes and what action you took. Also note if you have trained anyone who
helps you prepare or serve food.
Date
25.06.12
Details of the
problem/change
Found a pack of sliced
ham out of date in the
fridge.
What you are going to do, or have
already done, about the problem/change
Threw the ham away and checked the rest of the ‘use
by’ dates in the fridge. Found no other problems.
Initials
SH
EXAMPLE
Action sheet
Make a note of any problems or changes and what action you took. Also note if you have trained anyone who
helps you prepare or serve food.
Date Details of the
problem/change
What you are going to do, or have already
done, about the problem/change
Initials
Action sheet
Make a note of any problems or changes and what action you took. Also note if you have trained anyone who
helps you prepare or serve food.
Date Details of the
problem/change
What you are going to do, or have already
done, about the problem/change
Initials
Action sheet
Make a note of any problems or changes and what action you took. Also note if you have trained anyone who
helps you prepare or serve food.
Date Details of the
problem/change
What you are going to do, or have already
done, about the problem/change
Initials
Action sheet
Make a note of any problems or changes and what action you took. Also note if you have trained anyone who
helps you prepare or serve food.
Date Details of the
problem/change
What you are going to do, or have already
done, about the problem/change
Initials
AcAction sheettion sheet
Make a note of any problems or changes and what action you took. Also note if you have trained anyone who
helps you prepare or serve food.
Date Details of the
problem/change
What you are going to do, or have already
done, about the problem/change
Initials
Action sheet
Make a note of any problems or changes and what action you took. Also note if you have trained anyone who
helps you prepare or serve food.
Date Details of the
problem/change
What you are going to do, or have already
done, about the problem/change
Initials
Action sheet
Make a note of any problems or changes and what action you took. Also note if you have trained anyone who
helps you prepare or serve food.
Date Details of the
problem/change
What you are going to do, or have already
done, about the problem/change
Initials
Action sheet
Make a note of any problems or changes and what action you took. Also note if you have trained anyone who
helps you prepare or serve food.
Date Details of the
problem/change
What you are going to do, or have already
done, about the problem/change
Initials
Action sheet
Make a note of any problems or changes and what action you took. Also note if you have trained anyone who
helps you prepare or serve food.
Date Details of the
problem/change
What you are going to do, or have already
done, about the problem/change
Initials
Action sheet
Make a note of any problems or changes and what action you took. Also note if you have trained anyone who
helps you prepare or serve food.
Date Details of the
problem/change
What you are going to do, or have already
done, about the problem/change
Initials
If you have used all the Action sheets in your pack, photocopy this one before you fill it in, or download new copies
from food.gov.uk/childminders
Action sheet
Make a note of any problems or changes and what action you took. Also note if you have trained anyone who
helps you prepare or serve food.
Date Details of the
problem/change
What you are going to do, or have already
done, about the problem/change
Initials
3-monthly review
The 3-monthly review is an important part of the records you need to keep about food to comply with the law.
Every three months you should look back at previous months and identify any problems. If you had a serious or
persistent problem (the same thing went wrong three times or more), make a note of it below and also write down
what you are going to do, or have already done, about it.
There might also have been changes in the way you are working with food e.g:
• Have you changed the ingredients, types of food or recipes you use?
• Are you looking after a new child? Do they have any allergies or need different foods?
• Are you using any different equipment?
If there have been any changes like these, you will need to review your safe methods to make sure they are up
to date. Make a note of what has changed below and give details of any changes you need to make to your safe
methods.
If you need a new copy of a safe method, you can download one from food.gov.uk/childminders. Remember to
sign and date the safe method after you have filled it in.
Date 3-monthly review
completed
Details of a serious or
persistent problem
or
The change in the way you
are working
What you are going to do,
or have already done, about
the problem
or
Any changes you need to
make to your safe methods
25.06.12
Have a new baby in my care
(Richard Brown).
Need to change the ‘Babies and
children – special advice’ safe
method to show how I store
made-up formula milk provided
by the parents.
25.09.12
No problem/changes No action to take
EXAMPLE
3-monthly review
Date 3-monthly review
completed
Details of a serious or
persistent problem
or
The change in the way you
are working
What you are going to do,
or have already done, about
the problem
or
Any changes you need to
make to your safe methods
Copyright
The material featured in this publication is subject to Crown copyright protection unless otherwise indicated.
You may re-use the information in the SFBB pack (not including the Food Standards Agency logos and photographs
that are the copyright of a third party) free of charge in any format or medium, under the terms of the Open
Government Licence at: nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/
This is subject to the material being reproduced accurately and not used in a misleading context. The material
must be acknowledged as Crown copyright and the source identified as the Food Standards Agency.
Any enquiries regarding the use and re-use of this information resource should be emailed to:
psi@nationalarchives.gsi.gov.uk
Or you can write to:
Information Policy Team
The National Archives
Kew
London
TW9 4DU
The permission to reproduce Crown protected material does not extend to any material in this publication which
is the copyright of a third party. Authorisation to reproduce such material must be obtained from the copyright
holders concerned. Please note that some of the images in this resource are third party copyright, therefore you
do not have permission to re-use them.
Note that the Agency has produced supporting guidance about the use and re-use of SFBB, which can be found at:
food.gov.uk/multimedia/pdfs/guidancelaadaptingsfbb.pdf
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