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Food and drink safety

Food and Drink Policy and Safety at Mealtimes

It is important that safety at mealtimes is promoted and adhered to and here at Rabbit Patch Day Nursery we follow guidance to ensure that babies and children are safe and supervised at all food times.

Snacks and mealtimes are an important part of the setting routine, where healthy eating conversation takes place and the social side of eating together is promoted.

We provide and/or serve food and drinks for children at the following times: breakfast, morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack and tea. Drinking water is always available to children, within rooms at water stations.

Babies and children are encouraged to feed themselves using a spoon/fork/knife.

We are a strictly NO NUT setting.

We are a no squash/juice setting.

We do not allow food to be brought into the setting.
Birthday cakes can be made on request by the Chef to be eaten at the setting and shared amongst the other children.

No rice drinks/milk are to be given to any child under the age of 5.

Food preparation safety:

The nursery has set high standards when it comes to preparing and handling food and provides Level 2 food hygiene training to all members of staff.

The Manager, Deputy and Chef all hold a Level 3 Food Hygiene qualification.

We are registered as a food provider with the local authority Environmental Health Department and currently hold a 5-star Food Hygiene Rating.

Allergies, intolerances, and preferences:

It is important that we work in partnership with parents and ensure the wishes of the parents are met, along with any allergies, intolerances, parental preferences, and any other dietary requirements.

Please note that unless advised by a doctor and with proof of this, we will not cut out major food groups such as meat, protein, carbohydrates, and dairy.

All children at the setting have a colour coded placemat which is used at snack/mealtimes to ensure diets are adhered to. The placemats have a picture of the child, their name, and dietary requirements.

There is an allergy board in each room displaying the children who have dietary requirements for the purpose of if there is a change of staff in rooms and serves as a visual reminder for all.

Babies are not given foods they have not already tried at home first due to there being a higher risk of a potential allergic reaction.

Placemat key:

Green- standard diet

Yellow- intolerance/parental preference

Red- allergy

Food safety preparation:

Babies and children under 2 are at high risk of choking and just because they have teeth, it does not mean they can handle all types of food. To ensure the children’s safety we follow guidance on how we prepare certain foods for different age groups.

Under 1’s MUST NOT be given:

Cow’s milk
Crackers or breadsticks

Under 2’s snack preparation:

All fruit and some vegetables must be peeled
Carrot batons/sticks are not to be given
Grapes must be cut into quarters
Sausages and bananas must be cut into quarters and NOT rounds

Over 2’s snack preparation:

We offer a rolling snack bar to over 2’s encouraging children to participate in snack time when they feel ready to. This can work well and is seen to be less disruptive to children’s playing and learning. The snack bar is open for a set amount of time between 20-40 minutes and children are asked more than once. If they decide they do not want it, they are not forced to eat it. It is important that children sit down at a table to eat their snacks and are always supervised. This also helps to ensure that children are encouraged to learn good eating behaviours.

Reheating of food is not permitted. Please speak to Mandy (cook) to keep warm or serve an alternative if the child is asleep.

Portion sizing, variety and serving suggestions:

We provide nutritious food for all meals and snacks, avoiding large quantities of saturated fat, sugar and salt and artificial additives, preservatives, and colourings
We include a variety of foods from the four main food groups: meat, fish, and protein alternatives; dairy foods; grains, cereals and starch vegetables; and fruit and vegetables. We also offer an alternative to the meat dishes for any vegetarian/vegan children.

Food hygiene procedures:

The nursery manager/deputy manager and chef understand the principles of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) as it applies to a day-care nursery business. The basis for this is risk assessment as is applies to the purchase, storage, preparation and serving of food to prevent growth of bacteria and food contamination.

Daily opening and closing checks on the kitchen to ensure standards are met consistently.
There are separate facilities for handwashing and for washing up.
All surfaces are clean and non-porous.
All utensils, crockery etc. are clean and stored appropriately.
Cleaning materials and other dangerous materials are stored out of children’s reach. See COSHH file.
Children do not have access to the kitchen.
All equipment must be used according to manufacturer’s instructions and checked regularly to ensure that it is functioning correctly. Pat testing of electrical appliances is carried out yearly.

Purchase, storage, and preparation of food:

We use local reliable suppliers for the food we purchase. Information of the suppliers is recorded in The Safe Food Better Business folder.

Fridge and freezer temperatures are monitored and recorded daily.
The refrigerators must be cleaned weekly or more often if needed and the details recorded.
Food preparation areas are cleaned before use as well as after use.
Food and food only, must be stored in areas designated specifically for that purpose.
Food is stored at correct temperatures and is checked to ensure it is in-date and not subject to contamination by pests, rodents, or mould. Cold food must be kept at a temperature of below 5 degrees C.
All foods must be stored under conditions that will prevent their deterioration. Instructions on the label, if present, should be followed.
Signs of any type of pest infection must be reported immediately. Pest control file found in the office.
Food must be thoroughly cooked to ensure that the centre reaches a temperature of at least 73 degrees C for 2 minutes.
Any food or liquid spillage must be cleaned up immediately
Food not eaten at the meal for which it was prepared must not be kept.
Waste food is disposed of daily.
When children take part in cooking activities staff will: always explain simple hygiene rules and supervise them. Cooking activities are carried out in the rooms.

Food will not be used as a behaviour management tool as either punishment or reward. We will encourage the children to eat or at least try their main meal before allowing them to refuse completely. If this is the case a piece of fruit will be offered in place of the main pudding. The practitioners know the children very well and can distinguish between a child not liking something and them trying to push boundaries when it comes to mealtimes.

Cleaning the Kitchen:

It is important that the kitchen is kept clean and tidy at all times.

Put all food way before cleaning so it does not come into contact with cleaning agents.
All equipment and working surfaces must be kept in a clean and hygienic condition.
Cleaning chemicals should be used at the prescribed dilution rate.
Sinks that you do washing up in must be kept clean.
Hand washing sinks are for hand washing only.

To clean things properly you need to follow four different stages:

Pre-clean – brush away any food debris.
Main clean – use clean hot water and detergent making sure you get into difficult areas.
Rinse – use clean hot water and a clean cloth.
Drying – leave to dry naturally.

Personal hygiene:

All employees, paid or voluntary, who handle food, have a responsibility to:

Maintain a high standard of personal hygiene.
Adhere to the nursery’s no smoking policy.
Refrain from handling food when they are suffering from an infectious disease or have boils, ulcers, cuts or rashes, diarrhoea, eye, ear, or throat infection.
Report shortcomings to the manager, e.g. faulty or damaged equipment.
Wash hands before preparing food or drink.
Adhere to the nursery’s Health and Safety Policy.

Reporting of food poisoning:

Food poisoning can occur for several reasons; not all cases of sickness or diarrhoea are as a result of food poisoning and not all cases of sickness or diarrhoea are reportable. Where children and/or adults have been diagnosed by a GP or hospital doctor to be suffering from food poisoning and where it seems possible that the source of the outbreak is within the setting, the manager will contact the Environmental Health Department and the Health Protection Agency, to report the outbreak and will comply with any investigation. If the food poisoning is identified as a notifiable disease under the Public Health (Infectious Diseases) Regulations 1988 the setting will report the matter to Ofsted.

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